Friday, 28 June 2019

High Court Judge That Ordered Arrest Of Diezani Madueke Dies In Abuja

Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court has died. Justice Ashi was sitting in the Apo division of the FCT High Court before his demise. Daily Trust reports that the deceased was the judge who in December 2018 ordered security agencies to arrest and produce the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, within 72 hours.

He reportedly died on Thursday from an undeclared ailment in an Abuja hospital. A senior official of the court told our reporter that while the judge died on Thursday, his family just wrote to the leadership of the court on Friday to inform of the judge’s death. “We wanted to issue a formal statement to that effect but my Lord (the Chief Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello) has not given us the official clearance. We will do that by Monday.

Thank you for reaching out”, the official said in confidence. She added that the judge died in an Abuja hospital after being admitted into the hospital within a week for a yet to be disclosed ailment. His order had followed a December 8, 2018 ex-parte motion brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC said it investigated the former minister with a businessman and Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, Jide Omokore in relation to a petition by a group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), dated October 2, 2013, which contained allegations of money laundering and official corruption. EFCC added that its investigation showed that Diezani, as supervising minister of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, allegedly engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions, which she entered into on behalf of the Federal Government.

The judge had subsequently ordered the EFCC, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Department of State Services (DSS) and all other security agencies to arrest the former minister within 72 hours. However, the order has not been effected since then.

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