UPDATED:Court asks EFCC, DSS to arrest Diezani within 72 hours

Valentine Ashi, a judge of the federal capital territory high court, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies to arrest Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources,within 72 hours.

According to Tony Orilade, the order was made following an ex parte motion made before the court by Msuur Denga, counsel to the EFCC.

Denga prayed for an order of the court to issue a warrant of arrest against Madueke, to enable the commission apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes 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”, the judge said.

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 country while investigations were ongoing.

The former minister is standing trial alongside Jide Omokore, a former chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, following a petition dated October 2, 2013, from Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) on allegations bordering 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 federal government.

They were also alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, Lagos.

Madueke and Omokore will be arraigned on February 25, 2019 on a five-count charge for the offences, which are contrary to sections 26(1) of the corrupt practices and other related offences act, 2000.