Diezani Protesters demanding ex-minister's return are 'ignorant' - Lauretta

The president's aide said people demanding Diezani's return to the country have refused to educate themselves.

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Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke was one of the country's highest profile politicians before being implicated in a multi-million-dollar graft scandal play

Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke was one of the country's highest profile politicians before being implicated in a multi-million-dollar graft scandal

(AFP/File)
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President Muhammadu Buhari's Personal Assistant on Digital/Online Media, Lauretta Onochie, has branded demonstrators demanding the extradition of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, as ignorant.

In a series of tweets on her Twitter account (@Laurestar) on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the president's aide said Nigeria would have to wait its turn before it can have the chance to prosecute the former minister who has been linked to a slew of corruption cases by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Lauretta Onochie play

Lauretta Onochie

(Herald )

 

She tweeted, "It appears that some of us especially those who are not good or are selective at remembering the past, are also not willing to use Google. The United Kingdom does not charge foreigners for crimes committed in other countries. They charge them for crimes committed against UK.

"In Ibori's case in the UK, I was in court for the judgement and the Judge made it clear that his sentence was for crimes committed in the UK. The Judge added, 'It's my hope that when you return to Nigeria, you'll be charged for d crimes you committed against d people of Delta'.

"UK will have its pound of Diezani's flesh in form of jail sentence. Thereafter, they may hand her over to the US, Italy and then Nigeria.

"Those asking for the extradition of Diezani are very ignorant and did not do their homework at all. That's "mumu-ness" in itself."

 

Onochie's comments appear to be targeted at demonstrators who launched a two-day sit-out protest at the Abuja office of the EFCC to demand for the extradition of the former minister.

Despite the mountain of allegations against her, she has holed up in London for years, where she was arrested in 2015 and is facing prosecution for alleged bribery, corruption and money laundering.

In a statement released by the group of protesters last week, they urged the anti-graft agency to file for the extradition of the former minister so that she can return to the country and be prosecuted for her crimes.

ALSO READ: EFCC promises to extradite Diezani

While speaking at the protest on Monday, August 28, 2017, co-convener of the protest, Deji Adayanju, said the anti-graft agency is not doing enough to fight corruption in the country without waiting for approval from the presidency.

He said the agency should be more active in its fight against corruption and promptly prosecute anyone that's suspected to be tied to accruing illicit wealth at the country's expense.

Deji Adeyanju during the protest at the EFCC head office in Abuja demanding the extradition of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke play

Deji Adeyanju during the protest at the EFCC head office in Abuja demanding the extradition of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke

 

He said, "We want Diezani and others who have been alleged of corruption to be put on trial. For two years, we've been saying Diezani stole so much money. Why is she not on trial?

"If they know they don't want to bring her back, why is the Federal Government not supporting the British government to jail Diezani?

"The Nigerian masses who are suffering want people who stole their money to be arrested and put on trial. If they're found guilty, they should be jailed."

The EFCC Secretary, Emmanuel Aremu, spoke with the protesters and assured them that the agency is doing its best to make sure that the former minister is brought back to the country to face trial.

ALSO READ: The unbelievable figures of Diezani's loot

The EFCC has obtained court rulings that have ordered the seizure of properties and funds linked to the former minister over the past few months.

On Tuesday, August 22, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the interim forfeiture of assets valued at $16,441,906 linked to her.

On Wednesday, August 9, 2017, Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Lagos Federal High Court also ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of N7,646,700,000 linked to the former minister after the EFCC filed an ex parte application.

This ruling came only days after a Federal High Court, also in Lagos, ordered the permanent forfeiture of a $37.5m Banana Island mansion owned by the former minister on Monday, August 7.

Diezani's Banana Island property play

Diezani's Banana Island property

(@APCNigeria/Twitter)

 

In addition to the building, the court also ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 realised as rents on the property.

On Tuesday, August 8, the EFCC revealed that its operatives discovered boxes of gold, silver and diamond jewellery from the Abuja residences of the former minister.

At the request of Nigerian authorities, a London court also ordered the forfeiture of three London properties worth £10 million that were linked to the minister.

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