The British Government has said extradition of former Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, to face corruption charges in Nigeria is possible but that would be on the request of the Federal Government.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke is in London, awaiting formal corruption charges and possibly, trial, in the United Kingdom.
In response to a letter seeking extradition of the ex-minister by the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations comprising ‘Our Mumu Don Do,’ led by musician Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) and Concerned Nigerians, led by Deji Adeyanju, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said their request should follow “diplomatic channel.”
The letter, signed by a member of the Whitehall Nigeria Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Oyebowale Oworu, declined to say whether the federal government had applied for extradition.
However, it stated that “Nigeria is a designated extradition partner of the United Kingdom under the London Scheme for Extradition with the Commonwealth.”
In the November 10, 2017 letter addressed to the London Coordinator of the coalition, Bob Olukoya, the correspondence was against the backdrop of a protest march by the group at 10, Downing Street, London, last month, where it handed a letter to British officials, for onward transmission to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, requesting Madueke’s extradition.
“Your letter has been sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the government department responsible for the UK’s relations with Nigeria and I am replying as a member of the Cross Whitehall Nigeria Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
“You asked for the repatriation of Mrs. Madueke, to stand trial in Nigeria.
“If a country wishes to seek the return of an individual from the United Kingdom to stand trial, the correct course is for that country to make an extradition request, through the diplomatic channel.
“If a country wishes to seek the return of assets associated with legal proceedings in the UK, the correct course is for that country to make a request through official, mutual assistance channels. Any such requests are considered in accordance with the United Kingdom law. As a matter of long standing policy and practice, the United Kingdom will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been received until such time as a person is arrested in relation to a request.”
Meanwhile, last month, the federal government said it had no plans to seek Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s repatriation osince she was already being investigated in the United Kingdom.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had reiterated to State House Correspondent that “the Nigerian government will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK government is doing.”
Alison-Madueke, on her part, had asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the AGF to bring her back from the United Kingdom, where she travelled to, shortly after leaving office in 2015, to answer to N450 million corruption case where her name was mentioned.