Buhari Plans Extradiction Of Mu’azu, Obanikoro, Others
The diplomatic process that will ensure the extradition of suspected looters who have fled the country will dominate President Muhammadu Buhari’s discussions with his counterparts when 60 world leaders meet in the United Kingdom next month.
Saturday PUNCH learnt on Friday that the President would at the summit explore ways of bringing to the country politicians who were being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
It was gathered that the outcome of the summit would speed up the extradition of individuals, including a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro; a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; and a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Others are the ex-Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; her son, Ugonna; and a former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, whose house was raided in Abuja in January by the EFCC.
Also included are a former Senior Political Adviser to ex-President and Coordinator of Goodluck Support Group, Prof. Rufai Alkali, who coordinated the disbursement of N320m allegedly collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria during the 2015 elections and the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, who is being allegedly investigated over $1.1bn Malabu Oil deal.
While Obanikoro, who is believed to be in the United States, is wanted in connection with the alleged payment of N1.45bn to his companies, Muazu is reportedly wanted over disbursement of funds to PDP zonal chairmen. He was reported to be in Singapore.
Alison-Madueke and her son are being investigated for N2.3bn disbursed to some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission through Fidelity Bank before the 2015 general elections.
While the former minister is in the UK, the whereabouts of her son is unknown.
Findings revealed that some of the pacts that would be signed by the world leaders at the summit would pave the way for the extradition of those who were being investigated.
A senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who confided in Saturday PUNCH, said at the sideline of the summit, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, would meet with law-enforcement agencies from 59 other countries.
The senior official said, “The Federal Government is determined to bring politicians, who are under investigations, but have fled the country. The summit will afford the EFCC and the Ministry of Justice the opportunity of discussing how those guys will be interrogated for the offences they have allegedly committed.”
Efforts to get the attorney-general and minister of justice did not succeed on Friday as he did not pick calls to his mobile telephone or respond to an SMS sent to him as of the time of sending this report.
But a source in the Ministry of Justice confirmed to one of our correspondents that Malami would be attending the London conference.
The source said, “Though it is a conference of heads of state, the minister will attend with the President since it has to do with corruption.
“You can also not rule out the fact that there may be the need to sign one agreement or the other with some other nations. In that regard, the President needs the AGF to be with him.”
The AGF had, in an interview on Friday last week, said that the Federal Government and 59 other countries would sign agreement on the sanctions to be imposed on corrupt political and public office holders.
According to him, the sanctions will include travel restriction or denial of entry visa into the 60 countries; rejection of requests for political asylum by corrupt political and public office holders; likely loss of citizenship; non-approval of naturalisation for any corrupt person; stoppage of establishment of shell companies abroad; and banning operation of foreign accounts in any of the 60 nations.
He had said, “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is stepping up the fight against corruption. I am happy to bring to your notice that Nigeria and 59 other countries will enter into an agreement in May on the imposition of international sanctions against corrupt political and public office holders. This will take place at the 2016 international summit on anti-corruption in the UK.
“At the May summit, these 60 countries will agree on some sanctions against those who steal public funds or launder money.
“Some of these measures are travel restriction or denial of entry into the 60 countries; rejection of request for political asylum by corrupt political and public officers; no more approval of application for naturalisation by any corrupt person; and the corrupt will not be allowed to operate foreign accounts in any of the signatory nation to the pact, among others.
“The affected countries will also design ways of sharing intelligence on corrupt officers and money launderers. We will all key into this understanding as part of the global action against corruption. “With this development, there is no hiding place for any public office holder who steals funds in this country.”