The Federal High Court in Abuja has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission an ultimatum of four months to extradite Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, to Nigeria from the United Kingdom.
The former minister has been in the UK since she was alleged of multimillion-naira fraud while she presided over the management of the country’s crude oil resources.
It was reported at some point that she was battling cancer but picture of a healthy Diezani had since surfaced on the social media.
The court has now given the EFCC until March 2020 to have her extradited to Nigeria from the UK.
The anti-corruption agency had in November 2018 filed a 13-count charge of money laundering against the former minister accusing her of unlawfully taking into her possession the sums of $39.7 million and N3.32 billion with which she allegedly bought choice properties in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt (in Rivers State), while in office.
At the resumed hearing of the suit, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu threatened to strike out the money laundering case should the anti-graft agency fail to produce the defendant in court by March 2020.
The prosecuting counsel, Faruk Abdullah, had earlier on pleaded with the judge to adjourn the case indefinitely on the grounds that the EFCC was facing challenges in its bid to extradite the defendant from the UK.