Reports have it the United Kingdom is set to commence the trial of Nigeria’s formerMinister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and four others for alleged corrupt practices.
This is even as other reports say the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was negotiating with Mrs. Alison-Madueke. But te EFCC has denied any secret negotiation with her.
Sahara Reporters quoted a source in the EFCC as saying: “The UK investigators have gone far on the allegations against Diezani. From the records made available, the ex-minister and four others will face trial as from June.
“We have taken more evidence to the UK, including all court records relating to the final forfeiture of $153million. We have a huge pile of documents.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “In fact, one of the suspects on the radar of investigators has been located in London and he is under surveillance.” He declined to name the suspect.
On the reported negotiation with the former minister, the source said: “There is no basis to negotiate with the ex-Minister in view of the overwhelming evidence at our disposal. You should ask yourself what purpose the negotiation will serve.
“The EFCC is set for the trial of the ex-minister at home and abroad. It is curious to be talking of a curious negotiation with someone who has a prima facie case to answer.
“The ex-minister has forfeited $153m; we have had far-reaching investigation on her involvement in the $115m poll bribery scandal; we have seized some of her choice properties and she has consistently maintained that she is ready for trial. So, what is the basis for negotiation when we have a good case?”
It would be recalled that theNational Crime Agency (NCA) of the UK on October 2, 2015 arrested Mrs. Alison-Madueke and four others for alleged bribery and corruption and money laundering.
The former minister, whose movement has been restricted to the UK, remains under investigation.
The NCA found some of the ex minister’s brothers and other business partners complicit in the money laundering allegation. She was arrested with her brothers.