A Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Teritory, Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies to arrest the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke within 72 hours.
The order, which was issued by Justice Valentine Ashi of the court on Tuesday followed an ex parte motion made before the court by the counsel to the EFCC, Msuur Denga.
Denga had prayed the court for an order to issue a warrant of arrest against Madueke to enable the anti-graft agency arrest and arraign her for alleged financial crimes she committed in Nigeria.
“The Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the EFCC, the Attorney General, the Department of State Services are hereby ordered in the name of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to apprehend and arrest the first defendant and produce her before this court for further directives within 72 hours,” Justice Ashi said.
Earlier on Monday, the court had granted EFCC leave to arraign Madueke after the prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdullahi told the court that the former minister left the shores of the country while investigations on her alleged crimes were ongoing.
Diezani is standing trial alongside Jide Omokore, a former chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Company following a petition dated October 2, 2013 filed by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) bordering on allegations of money laundering and official corruption.
Madueke and her accomplice were said to have engaged in illicit and fraudulent dealings in oil transactions which she entered into on behalf of the then Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government.
They were also alleged to have accepted and given gifts in property located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, also in Lagos.
Madueke and Omokore will be arraigned on February 25, 2019 on a five-count charge for the alleged offences which are contrary to sections 26 (1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.