The Nigerian government has said it would not ask the British government to send a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, back to Nigeria to avoid jeopardizing ongoing investigations by authorities in the United Kingdom.
The government’s position was made known by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who is under investigation by UK’s National Crime Agency, NCA, for alleged illicit possession of properties valued at £10 million, purportedly purchased for her by some businessmen while she was minister, had asked to be joined in an ongoing corruption suit against the businessmen in Nigeria.
She asked the government to request her extradition back to the country.
However, Mr. Malami said such a move was not necessary for now.
“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 Alison-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,” he told journalists at the State House in Abuja.
The AGF said there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries especially the United Kingdom on the recovery of stolen funds.
The Minister said Mrs. Alison-Madueke does not need to tell the government when to ask for her extradition.
“Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is facing charges of money laundering and acquisition of properties in United Kingdom so it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witness in a case in Nigeria,” he said.