Embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has denied being on the run and has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside the bench warrant issued against her on July 24, 2020.
Punch reports that in a motion filed by her counsel, Mike Ozekhome, Diezani who served under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, told the court that contrary to claims made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that she was on the run, she went to the United Kingdom in 2015 to get treatment after being diagnosed with “the most aggressive form of breast cancer — Triple Negative Cancer.”
In the motion filed by her counsel, Diezani prayed the court to strike out her name as “a defendant in charge number: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria V. Diezani Alison Madueke, pending before this honorable court.” The motion, which has FRN as complainant/respondent, had Alison-Madueke as sole defendant/applicant.
Recall that in 2015, the EFCC filed money laundering charges against Dieziani and approached the court for a bench warrant against the former Minister.
Diezani spotted in London.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who granted the order on July 24, 2020, directed that Alison-Madueke should be arrested by local or international police anywhere she is sighted within or outside the country.
The case was, however, reassigned to Justice Olajuwon following the transfer of Ojukwu to the Calabar division of the court in 2021.
The ex-minister, in the five grounds attached to the motion, said the bench warrant was issued without jurisdiction, and sought that it be set aside ex debito justitiae. She argued that it was issued in breach of her right to fair hearing. She further argued that she had neither been served with the charge sheet nor the proof of evidence in a charge numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018.