Alleged N500 million fraud: You’re trying to evade justice in UK, Judge tells Diezani

Diezani Allison-Madueke
Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke

A federal judge in Lagos on Wednesday slammed former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, for trying to abuse court process and deliberately attempting to evade justice in the United Kingdom.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court while delivering a ruling on Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s application to be joined as a defendant in a money laundering suit said the move was not only a misuse of court processes, but a deliberate ploy to run away from justice in the UK.

“This is not the proper time to join the applicant as a defendant,” the judge said.

“The applicant has aroused my curiosity as to why she waited this long before coming up with the application for joinder The court lacks the power to interfere with the powers of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

“The application for joinder is lacking in merit and same is hereby dismissed.”

Mrs. Alison-Madueke is being investigated for money laundering in the UK where she currently is.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had instituted a five-count charge of money laundering suit amounting to N500 million against Dele Belgore, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and Abubakar Suleiman, a former minister of National Planning.

The former petroleum minister’s name appeared in the charge sheet as an accomplice and was tagged by the EFCC as being ‘at large.’

Consequently, Mrs. Alison-Madueke filed an application through her lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, seeking to be joined as a defendant in the suit and urged the court to mandate the EFCC to list her as a party.

“My Lord, we have a motion dated September 29, 2017, and an affidavit of 16 paragraphs, together with a written address, which we rely on,” Mr. Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had said.

“We have received the counter affidavit of counsels, but there remains yet, one consideration which should touch the conscience of parties.

“In the 4th count of the charge, the applicant’s name was mentioned clearly, and there is no alteration to the fact that she has been charged; it simply suggests that it is a consummated complaint.

“By the definition of Section of 494(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) a defendant is any person against whom a complaint or charge is made, while a charge refers to an allegation that any named person has committed an offence.

“From count one to count four, the name of the applicant was mentioned as an accomplice. It would be in the interest of justice to join her in the charge.

“We will have no objections if the applicant’s name is extracted from the charge, then, trial can proceed. Otherwise, she should be included in the charge.

“I know that she will be happy to come and face the trial.”

In objecting to the motion for joinder, counsel to Mr. Belgore, E. O Shofunde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, argued that the applicant was not a necessary party to the suit since in the end, the court would only decide the guilt or innocence of the first and second accused who were charged.

He contended that by the combined provisions of sections 216(2), 221, 273, 274, and 494(1) of the ACJA, only the prosecution could exercise the power to amend a process during trial.

Mr. Shofunde further argued that it would be incongruous for any other party to seek an amendment of a criminal charge, adding that it would amount to a waste of judicial time if that amendment is allowed since progress has made in the case.

Responding, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, in opposing the application for joinder noted that the state can only amend a charge for the purposes of adding offences and not defendants if trial had commenced.

While insisting that if an amendment is allowed at this stage, it will occasion a miscarriage of justice, Mr. Oyedepo added that several attempts were initially made to interrogate the applicant, but that she fled to London after she got wind of the move by the EFCC, and had since then, carefully avoided any meeting with the Commission.

“It is misconceived and too late in the day, for the applicant to now seek to be joined in the charge when she is already under investigation in London.

“Whenever the applicant returns to Nigeria, she can still be tried, as time does not run against the prosecution in criminal trial.”

According to the amended charge, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was alleged to have conspired with Messrs. Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of unlawful act.

The trio were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorized by law, without going through the financial institutions.

Messrs. Belgore and Sulaiman were also alleged to have paid N50 million to one, Sheriff Shagaya, without going through any financial institution.

The offences are said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 15(2)(d), 1(a), 16(d) and 18 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.


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  • Chuma Anierobi

    Where is the country really heading to? What is this conspiracy against truth? What does Nigeria have to do with England with regards to our justice system? What really did England say that she is investigating around this woman?

    • bayobe

      Money Laundering, sir. In case you haven’t been following her story, or why do you think she’s begging to come back to her country.

      • Tonnero

        The people don’t know how to think. A woman disappears from her country as soon as a new man is elected and has not set foot here since May 2015. Now she is begging to be joined in a suit as a defendant.Like I said, some people don’t know how to think.

        • The facts

          If she’s receiving medical treatment why must she come to Nigeria just for the fun of it? When Buhari was receiving treatment did he come to Nigeria just to show face?

          • whereto

            Buhari returned to Nigeria when he chose to. He did not need the assistance of the courts. Tell your desiani to stop disturbing Us. She can return whenever she chooses to. After all, she did not get a court order before traveling to the UK.

          • The facts

            No, it’s your government that should leave her alone and stop castigating her. If you have any evidence against her, take her to court. And if you don’t stop harassing her life.

      • The facts

        And how long has the money laundering investigation been going?

        • bayobe

          Money Laundering case is in a London court, it is left to Diezani and her lawyers to apply for speedy trial if that is what she wants. Diezani went on self imposed exile, she doesn’t need Nigerian govt approval to come back to her country but bcos she is on trial in UK she needs to provide British court a genuine reason to leave England while she has a pending trial.

          • The facts

            You got it wrong mate. She hasn’t been charged with any offence in any court in the UK. She was only arrested 2 years ago and since then nothing has happened.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Please ignore the baiting by @The opinions

            If he is aware of the complexities of offshore and international money laundering cases, he wouldn’t be moaning about two years in the life of the investigations.

            Either that, or he is paid to muddle up facts or simply very ignorantly mischievous.

          • The facts

            For your information Deizani has not been charged with any offence in the UK. I think you’ve been listening too much to Lai Mohammed and Magu.

    • Julius

      That’s why the Judge said she should stay and face her allegations in the UK….that’s what Nigeria has to do with England with regards to our justice system. We do not harbor fugitive !!. Got it ?

    • share Idea

      Please never join issues with all these APC apologetic judges and government functionaries…very absurd statement from a Nigerian judge

    • Screw-em

      Comments like this is why somebody said some of us need lethal educational Injection to the head. Have you been living in a cave in the two years? This hopeless whore should be behind bars with the keys thrown into the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean if it were not for the borrowed British legal system.

  • thusspokez

    In objecting to the motion for joinder, counsel to Mr. Belgore, E. O Shofunde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, argued that the applicant was not a necessary party to the suit since in the end, the court would only decide the guilt or innocence of the first and second accused who were charged.

    If the lady crook continues to demand to appear in Nigerian court, she could do so via skype or other forms of videoconferencing from the UK. There is no need for her physical presence in Nigeria.

    • Netanyahu

      It will be foolhardy, if not out-right suicidal for any sane person to prefer to go to prison in Nigeria instead of in the UK. What do you think? Don’t you think the govt is hiding something? Again it doesn’t take the UK police forever to investigate a straight money laundering. Something is fishy here.

      • Julius

        Write to the UK justice department / police. I’m sure they will let you in on what’s fishy !

      • Dat-Abdulahi

        It’s obvious the crooked woman has realised Buhari’s much touted fight against corruption is a joke, and that she made a huge mistake fleeing in the first place. So, she now wants to come back home to where she knows she can bribe her way through the justice system! That’s the only fishy thing going on here my friend!!

        • The facts

          She did not flee she went for treatment just like how Buhari went for his own treatment.

        • Man_Enough

          Very much on point except for calling the fight against corruption “a joke”. I beg to differ on that.

      • Pluti

        Your statement!!! UK is better so for her to be filing to be present means she’s knows the judicial system in Nigeria is slow and not as strict as the UK. Former Edo and Delta state governors are examples

      • thusspokez

        It will be foolhardy, if not out-right suicidal for any sane person to prefer to go to prison in Nigeria instead of in the UK

        Don’t be so daft, Diezani is confident that her case would be dismissed let alone found guilty.

        Crooked Saraki remains your Senate president, Patience Jonathan thinks she is above the law, she is saying how dare the EFCC confiscate her illicit wealth, not to mention the many other looters who see themselves as untouchables.

        Diezani hope is to join this exclusive untouchables club, hence she wants to return to Nigeria.

    • share Idea

      You should have suggested that your crooked Judge to have made such remarks as contained in the article without official communication from UK or Deziani that she was trying to avoid justice in UK. Such a pronouncement could make the FG to lose the case if Nigeria were practicing proper democracy.

      The way people in high places talk in Nigeria makes people to shiver about the level rot in Nigeria.

      Has the Judge explored all the options available to Deziani to appear in the case without evading any justice in UK if at all there is one there. Even if she was allowed into Nigeria, could the FG not be able to return her to UK if needed? What is all these noise about prosecuting a Nigeria better in other countries?

      • 360°

        @shareidea:disqus

        President Buhari has no answer to his involvement in Maina’s reinstatement

        Premium Times should quit worrying if
        President Buhari could deny his October 12th conversation with Mrs Oyo-Ita,
        the Head of Service, on the illegality of reinstating Mr. Maina as a Director of
        Nigeria’s public service whilst in his current status as a wanted fugitive on
        INTERPOL red alert.

        Premium Times should also quit worrying over what President
        Buhari said to Mrs. Oyo-Ita in reply after he was notified of the said
        illegality. Truth is whatever President Buhari said in response, if any, is not
        decisive or relevant to the issue of presidential malfeasance at hand.

        President Buhari
        is under a strict duty to know the illegality occurring inside his own
        government, regardless if Mrs. Oyo-Ita reported any illegality verbally or not.
        President Buhari’s duty to know in law does not depend on Mrs. Oyo-Ita’s report;
        as if it is the prescribed one or the exclusive way for President Buhari to acquire
        information of ongoing illegality inside his increasingly ramshackle government.

      • The facts

        I just wonder the type of judges we have in this country. What evidence does he have to say she wanted to evade justice. As a matter of fact she’s not facing any charges. She was arrested two years ago and was never charged. Does he think the UK government can wait to years before charging a suspect?

        • bayobe

          you should ask yourself why she did not just pack her bag and head back home. Court is only saying Diezani cannot be a witness, Court did not say she can’t come back to her country.

          • Someone

            shes a flight risk. the uk will not allow her. your logic defiles everything.

          • bayobe

            She is a flight risk because….?

          • Someone

            your logic defiles everything. are you living in a pit?????

            she no go come back to the uk for her case. she go become maina, hiding in the nnewi bush

          • The facts

            She can’t because she’s still on bail for the past 2 years.

        • Soja

          I hope you know Dieziani doesn’t need Visa to enter Nigeria?

          What is stopping her from coming home? to sue EFCC for calling her a thief without charging her to court.

          ANSWER
          She can’t leave UK now without Nigeria writing for her to be extradited, and Nigeria is saying no need for now. That she should sort out whatever she is doing over there (whether na court case or cancer treatment), anytime she decides to come home they can take it up from there.

          • The facts

            She can’t come because she’s on bail but if she has a genuine reason for example to attend a court, she may be allowed to leave.

          • Soja

            I thought you said she was never charged to court, why is she now on bail? bail from hospital? Look at what you wrote

            “I just wonder the type of judges we have in this country. What evidence does he have to say she wanted to evade justice. As a matter of fact she’s not facing any charges. She was arrested two years ago and was never charged. Does he think the UK government can wait to years before charging a suspect?”

            As I said, let her settle whatever she is doing there in the UK, anytime she is ready, she can come home. Nobody is dragging her to come and nobody is saying she shouldn’t come to her fatherland

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Being on bail suggests she has a flight from justice risk.

            The British justice system is not like a holiday camp. When it is satisfied that she no longer has a case to answer to or flee from, she will be freed from any bail conditions.

            Didn’t she flee from Nigeria? Why is she now desperate to force the sa e country to come and her extradite from her perceived place of refuge?

            Think, Bruv, deeply.

          • The facts

            It’s a normal procedure to be on bail in cases of money laundering and doesn’t mean the suspect is a flight risk. What I know is that if there’s been any evidence of money laundering against her, she would have been tried since 2015.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            What you don’t know is that cases are not rushed to prosecution until prima facie evidence is established.

            Conditional Bails are also applied only when there is reasonable belief that affected persons would be brought to trial at some point. It is to ensure they do not abscond from the law.

            It is not just an administrative procedure. It is an alternative to putting someone behind the bar and is used when charges have not been perfected or made.

          • The facts

            Doesn’t your statement shows that there’s nothing on Deizani if they have been investigating her for 2 years? Are you telling me that under a Buhari government Deizani would not be put on the next available flight from Nigeria to the UK if the UK government files charges against her? That’s if she comes to Nigeria now.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Bruv, I worked for over a decade within the British system and closely with the MetPol in some instances.

            Two years mean absolutely nothing in terms of gathering evidence in a complex international Financial crime as is alleged against Ms. Deziani.

            As to her being returned to the UK under any government or the other, why would the Nigerian government assist her in what is believed to be attempts to evade justice?

            Why didn’t she come back home for all the previous times she was wanted here? Why wait until she could no longer do so without violating her bail terms? Did our world class hospital in Akwa Ibom suddenly get so well she’s now decided to come back and use the facility?

          • The facts

            Perhaps when you worked in UK was during the analogue age. Now that technology has taken over evidence are gotten easily and quickly. Deizani went to the UK to treat her illness just like Buhari also went. Why didn’t Buhari go to the Aso Villa hospital that billions were voted for? Deizani decided to come to Nigeria now that her name has been mentioned in court cases before there were only press statements by EFCC and she can’t just come to Nigeria to respond to statements.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            I presume from your tenses that you are not conversant with how things work in the UK and feel the need to denigrate my person to justify that.

            Perhaps I am analogue or otherwise, but I’m not sure I’d describe a man who’s just paid €93k just to develop an App for his business analogue.

            Your line of argument is pedestrian, if you don’t mind me making that observation.

            I won’t respond further to this thread because I don’t want it to degenerate into an exchange of insults.

            Stay blessed.

          • The facts

            I’m sorry you felt insulted by saying you lived in the UK during the analogue era but I won’t be surprised if all charges are later dropped as it’s taking too long.

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Again, Bruv, I have caught you perverting facts by expressing your own jaundiced opinions as facts.

          It is trite and public knowledge that the British NCA is conducting criminal investigations against Ms. deziani. The interim results of this investigations led to the temporary seizure of three properties belonging to her (in the UK) in September 2016. It was also as a result of these investigations that her home was raided and the sum of £26k or is it £27k was found in cash and seized.

          This led to her international passport being seized. As it is presently, she is on reporting bail, hence her desperate attempts at trying to use our defective legal system to force he FGN to demand her extradition. The judge is right to deny such.

          Not only is the UK NCA investigating her criminal looting, so also is the US DoJ. What is not publicly known is the extent of evidences now unearthed by these two bodies, but what is sure is that the wheels of justice grinds slowly, but surely.

          For now, Ms. Deziani’s coattails are already ensnared by the wheels of justice. It is a matter of time before she is consumed by the law processes, regardless of what you guys are churning out in defence of the woman who stole our collective futures.

          • The facts

            No Sir, no property was seized from her because she doesn’t have any in the UK or US. Are you telling me that the UK will be investigating someone for 2 years without being brought to trial? Come on!

      • thusspokez

        What seems to be your problem?

      • Someone

        good idea. she can be extradited and taken back but who pays? the court, waste of funds.

      • Soja

        Guy, the case in question is not about Dieziani. Her name just came up, no matter how the ruling in this case goes (whether for or against) it doesn’t affect her in any way. The question now is why is she so desperate to be joined in the case and why now?

        If she feels her character is being defamed then she can come down to Nigeria and sue the EFCC for mentioning her in what doesn’t concern her. (That is if there is really nothing behind her begging Nigeria to write for her extradition). She is a Nigerian after all, let her board the next flight from UK and come down to Nigeria to sue anybody/institution that accuses her of stealing without charging her to court

    • Someone

      yes, but it’s better if she’s in the court physically. that woman is an expert at twisting words. if the internet link is not good, so goes the evidence. i think i may agree with the court even though it looks like a fiat without meaning. it is time to start disgracing and destroying the reputations of these thieves.

  • Tommy Soto

    The never ending news story.
    ‘Missing $20bn: Alison-Madueke sues PREMIUM TIMES, APC, 9 others’
    March 18, 2015 Bassey Udo

    I wonder what is taking the UK justice system so long with their investigation and prosecution. Wikipedia says there’s no record of her arrest.

    • The facts

      Though she was arrested but it was based on information from EFCC. However, she was released immediately because nothing was found on her.

      • Tommy Soto

        abeg, do you think this is an alleged petty crime. the big boys and girls use off-shore accounts and shell companies in multiple countries. this no be small ting.

  • Someone

    this is how courts do things, but i think this judge is a little bit inflexible. he could have allowed her to defend herself in other ways. this our judges anyway. this is a fiat from the court without explanations

  • Man_Enough

    “Our mumu don do” thinks otherwise. They took to the streets to call for her return. Could it be they were compromised to prepare the ground? I smell a link.

  • Andy Andrew

    Lets get it straight, Diezanini is a rogue. The problem however is that there are many other rogues in the system. The reason given by the judge is nebulous if not mischievous. There is no prosecution pending in the UK courts against her. Even if there was, there is no law that says because she is standing trial in one country she cannot face the courts in Nigeria. Thirdly, Where is the evidence before the judge that she is attempting to evade the court proceedings in the UK, if at all there are any such proceedings and there are no such proceedings pending. Finally, video conferencing and Skype are freely used by the courts in other climes in taking evidence, so what is all this crap about refusing her application? Even if they claim that she wants to escape justice, why not get EFCC officials to accompany her from London to Nigeria and remand her in EFCC custody while the case goes on? I fear that they don’t want her to talk because she is one hell of a bad mama that would expose a lot of stuff worse that the suicide bomber from Yola and cause big problems for the govt. It is a shame and PMB dem are still telling us they are fighting corruption. With this kind of approach to issues, we can never make it in this country and that is why this “change” mantra has become a milestone on PMB’s neck and Tinubu has been hiding in the corner because he knows that PMB cannot fight corruption and they merely told us lies when they were campaigning for elections.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Inverted logic, Andy.

      There’s no statutory limit barring prosecution for criminal offences in law, neither is there a requirement in law compelling public prosecutors to alter charges to simply include accused persons as you appear to advocate.

      Further, unless and until the UK Court discharges Ms. Deziani of charges of criminal conspiracy and money laundering and releases her international travel passport, the EFCC cannot just go and rent a Molue to escort and bring her home as you have suggested.

      Matters of extradition for criminal trials are not conducted at those pedestrian levels.

      Ms. Deziani can always travel back to Nigeria to clear her name or seek judicial recompense against the FGN once she is discharged by the UK legal system.

      • Andy Andrew

        Thanks. She is under investigation in the U.K. but has not been charged with any offence. We do not hang unto indictments in England and Wales. Secondly, under the mutual assistance agreement entered into with the U.K., Nigeria is perfectly entitled to call for here return to Nigeria. In my opinion, the substantial part of the alleged offence took place here, so why is our govt. pussy footing on bringing her to face trial here. All she is doing in the U.K. is going to Harrods to do her shopping. She is as free as a bird. And what about bobo Malabu (aka Bello Adoke) what stops them from bringing him to face trial over 2 years after this govt took over power? To be this is a disturbing pattern of “all mouth and no trouser” when it comes to our now appropriately term “ati corruption” drive. It has since ceased to be “anti corruption”. And I can tell you at no extra cost, Diezanini will NOT face any legal prosecution in the U.K. courts. That country needs her money badly and they see that PMB’s govt is now dancing to the hypothetical beat, when it comes to corruption.

  • Lord please save Nigeria from Nigerians

  • The facts

    You can’t just rely on Google search or what a claimant is saying to prove a case. The lady has said it several times that she doesn’t have property outside Nigeria but people like you decided not to believe her because of a biased opinion.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Google is just like an index or repository of knowledge.

      It’s not responsible for contents.

      The lady has made several denials, including those permanently forfeited in Nigeria. In the event that no one else has laid claim to the ones she’s already denied, why should I hold brief for her as you are doing hopelessly?

      We have all read the international expositure on how she had laundered money through Jide Omokore and the other guy. These have not been denied by her accomplices, but you appear to know something the rest of us don’t.

      • The facts

        It is to be noted that the properties in Nigeria were ‘linked’ to her not owned by her. Besides, there’s been no evidence to show she laundered money through anyone. By the way, if there’s been a clear evidence, she would have been charged by now.

  • Adele Uhuru

    This is quite funny – how come a Judge in Nigeria based his conclusion on issues that is foreign to our constitution and most of all that is not yet concluded or even progressed to a point for a court to hear the matter ?