The Nigerian Government says it is not keen on having former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison-Mad-ueke, repatriated from the
United Kingdom to face charges of corruption back home.
Diezani has been in the UK since she left office in 2015, and is reportedly under a travel ban there following investigations over money laundering there.
But her counsel on Tuesday prayed the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to bring her back home to ap- pear in court and defend a criminal charge bordering on alleged laundering of N450 million in which her name was mentioned.
Other defendants in the case are a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Dele Belgore and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof
Abubakar Suleiman, who were charged with unlaw- fully collecting N450m from Diezani and laundering same in the build-up to the 2015 General Elections.
Malami has, however, declared that the Federal Government would not want Diezani back in Nigeria in order not to jeopardise her investigation by British authorities and possible prosecution over there in the UK.
Speaking in Hausa to some Hausa service State House Correspondents in Aso Rock on Tuesday, Malami said the decision was in line with a deal Ni- geria struck with the UK and did not imply that government was dragging its feet on the matter.
His words: “The truth of the matter is that the government is doing something, especially on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country.
“Considering the fact that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other counries especially United Kingdom on the recovery of stolen funds, you cannot say government is not doing anything.
“Steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bordering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians. If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that.
“As things are now, there is no need for that since the U.K. Government is already investigating her and government will not take any decision that will jeopardize what the U.K. Government is doing.”
“Mrs Diezani Allison- Madueke is facing charges of money laundering and acquisition of properties in United Kingdom so it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witnessin a case in Nigeria.”