The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday ordered a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Maudeke, to appear before it and answer to a money laundering charge filed against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojkukwu, while ruling on ex-parte application ordered the issuance of summons on Diezani for her to attend court for the purpose of her arraignment in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/ CR/208/2018. Diezani was reported to have fled Nigeria for the United Kingdom (UK).
In view of this, the court ordered that the court’s summons should be published on the website of the EFCC and a national daily in a conspicuous manner. The court consequently adjourned till October 28, for Diezani to attend court for the purpose of her arraignment on the pending money laundering charge. Counsel to EFCC, Faruk Abdallah, had while arguing the motion noted that since Diezani allegedly fled the country, it was difficult to get her back to respond to the various criminal allegations against her. Abdallah said there was the need for a court’s summons or arrest warrant to compel her appearance in court. The EFCC in a document filed along with the motion ex-parte, said it sought to question Diezani, without success, in relation to many allegations against her, including “her role as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) to; Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).