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CRIME

N470m Fraud: Diezani Seeks To Be Repatriated To Nigeria

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BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos

A new twist occurred, yesterday, in the ongoing trial of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore and a former Minister for National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman as former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke urged a Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the federal government to facilitate her return to Nigeria from the United Kingdom.

Mrs Alison-Madueke in an application filed on her behalf by her lawyer, Obinna Onya, is specifically asking the court to mandate the Attorney General of the Federation, being the agent of the Federal Government to facilitate her prompt appearance before the court on the next adjourned date to enable her take her plea and to defend the allegations made against her in the charge instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The embattled former minister insisted that she would like to appear in court in Nigeria to defend the criminal charges bordering on alleged laundering of N450million, where her name was mentioned.

Belgore, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain who contested the governorship election in Kwara State in 2015 and the former Minister, who served during President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration were arraigned on a five count charge before Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

The EFCC alleged that the duo in 2014, on or about March 27, 2015, conspired among themselves and directly took possession of N450 million, which they reasonably knew to be proceed of crimes.

The commission alleged that the N450million was part of a sum of $115million which Mrs. Alison-Madueke allegedly doled out to compromise the 2015 general elections.

The two defendants were also alleged to have on March 27, 2015, transferred the sum of N50 million to one Sheriff Shagaya ,without going through financial institutions.

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