The Attorney- General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has said that there is no need bringing former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, back to face corruption charges in Nigeria.
Malami (SAN) stated this on Wednesday, while responding to an application before a Federal High Court, Lagos by a lawyer, Obinna Onya, praying the court to order the AGF to bring Diezani back to Nigeria.
The lawyer had on Tuesday claimed that Diezani was ready to come down to Nigeria to testify in a case of an alleged N450 million fraud contrary to the declaration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that she is at “large”.
Diezani’s name was only mentioned in the case, while the main defendants are a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman.
But Malami, in an interview with State House correspondents in Hausa at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the move was not needful at the moment since the United Kingdom was already investigating the former minister.
“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 UK Government is already investigating her and government will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK Government is doing,” the AGF said.
According to Malami, the government was committed on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside. He added that to say that government was not doing anything on the matter would be wrong, especially as there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries as UK on stolen funds recovery.
On whether Diezani is likely to get fair hearing in Nigeria, the AGF said, “Well, the issue is not about fair hearing now. We are talking about investigation first and it’s not within Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke’s powers to ask the Federal Government to bring her to testify in any case in Nigeria.
“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.”