By Jite Eriabie
Nigerian musician, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, on Monday led a protest to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.
The protest was organised to demand the extradition of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, from the UK to Nigeria.
Mrs. Madueke is currently standing trial in Nigeria and the UK for alleged misappropriation of the nation’s funds while she held sway as minister during the immediate past administration.
Two weeks ago, Charly Boy led a series of protests to demand President Muhammadu Buhari’s resumption or resignation.
The protests which led to chaos at the popular Wuse market in Abuja perhaps made Oputa suspend further rallies, but President Buhari returned to the country a few days later.
The EFCC, while receiving the protesters, said it would follow the rule of law to the letter in treating the case against Mrs. Madueke.
In a statement issued by the Secretary to the Commission, Emmanuel Aremo, the anti-graft agency said it “remained committed to the rule of law, as this was paramount in the fight against corruption.”
“Let us be patient and let us follow due process. We on our part will ensure that no stone is left unturned as we intensify the war against corruption,” he said.
Aremo urged the group not to relent in their support for the EFCC’s fight against corruption.
In a separate development, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of N7,646,700,000 said to have been illegally kept in Sterling Bank.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had linked the money to Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The judge Chuka Obiozor, who gave the judgment on Monday, had ordered the permanent forfeiture of a $37.5m sky-scrapper in Banana Island, Lagos, allegedly owned by Diezani.
The commission had told Obiozor through an ex parte application that the N7.6bn was part of the $153,310,000 which Alison-Madueke allegedly siphoned from the coffers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2014.
The EFCC also alleged that the former minister stashed the money away in three banks and that the Federal Government had since February last year, through an order granted by another judge, Muslim Hassan, recovered part of the money.
It urged the court to order Sterling Bank to release to the federal government the said sum still in its custody.
Obiozor had granted an interim order for the forfeiture of the funds, but on Monday he gave a permanent order for the seizure of the funds.
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