The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has lauded efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in extraditing the former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to face corruption charges leveled against her.
Mr. Ikenna Aghagbobi, Media and Publications Officer of the Centre on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said the saga has lingered for too long even to the point where she fled the country for the UK while investigations into the allegations against her were ongoing.
It read: “CACOL first blew the lid on her various illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions, entered into on behalf of the federal government; including diversion of funds, unscrupulous payment of petroleum subsidies, etc., which ran into billions of American Dollars.
“She will not be the first person to try to escape from justice, Olisa Metuh and others in the same category have at one time or the other tried to stall and frustrate the judicial system but, it is unfortunate for her this time because the EFCC are fully at work”.
Adeniran also said: “I do not think our anti-graft agencies have made enough examples of these corrupt indices in our society by meting-out maximum sanctions in a bid to deter intending defaulters”.
The CACOL boss concluded that: “The EFCC should be ready to make the former minister honour the invitation to return to the country; to be prosecuted. It will serve as a way of warning and discouraging others from abusing their offices and running to other countries to plead shelter over their corrupt acts or try other means to frustrate their trials.
“Though the renewed action is coming a bit late, considering that we first alerted the government’s Anti-Corruption agency to those infractions now known as ‘Diezianigate’ since 2013, but as they say, ‘it is better late than never’.
“We therefore, welcome the Commission’s filing of an application for warrant of arrest (being condition precedent for Dieziani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trial) circa the court’s stipulated 72 hours.
“We also call on the EFCC to be diligent in the proceedings and prosecution of Diezani, especially with the benefits of the time-lag they had to garner evidences and interrogate witnesses, and ensure that the trial is as transparent as possible to eradicate incidences of foul play.”