Abuja — The federal government has asked former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to face her corruption trial in the United Kingdom.
LEADERSHIP recalls that Diezani had urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the Attorney General of the Federation to bring her back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom where she travelled to shortly after leaving office in 2015.
She said she would like to appear in court in Nigeria to defend a criminal charge bordering on alleged laundering of N450 million in which her name had been mentioned.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, Minister of Justice and Attorney - General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami said there was no need to repatriate Diezani now since the UK government is already investigating her on issues bordering on corruption.
He hinged his argument on the premise that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries, especially the United Kingdom, on the recovery of stolen funds.
He said Diezani is already facing charges of money laundering and acquisition of properties in the United Kingdom and so it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witness in a case in Nigeria.
The AGF said, "The truth of the matter is that the government is doing something, especially on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country.
"Considering the fact that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries, especially United Kingdom, on the recovery of stolen funds, you cannot say government is not doing anything.
"The truth of the matter is that steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians. If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that.
"As things are now, there is no need for that since the U.K. government is already investigating her and government will not take any decision that will jeopardize what the U.K. government is doing".