A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Tuesday asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to order the Federal Government to facilitate her return to Nigeria to face trial.
She asked for an opportunity to defend allegations against her in a charge filed against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dele Belgore and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof Abubakar Suleiman.
The prosecution said Alison-Madueke allegedly shared $115,010,000 (about N35billion) to different individuals in 36 states ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Belgore and Suleiman allegedly received N450million in cash from the ex-minister.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused the duo of conspiring to directly take possession of the N450million.
Alison-Madueke was not listed a defendant. She is described as being “at large” in the charge.
Her lawyer, Obinna Oniya, told Justice Rilwan Aikawa on Tuesday about a pending application seeking to join the former minister as a defendant.
He said Alison-Madueke was accused in counts one to four of giving money to Belgore and Sulieman, an allegation she would like to be present to defend.
The lawyer said contrary to EFCC’s claim that the ex-minister was at large, she was in the United Kingdom and willing to return to take her plea and defend the allegations.
He said it would be against her right to fair hearing for the case to proceed without affording her the opportunity to defend herself.
“The statement made by the prosecution means that the applicant is going to be convicted without being given the opportunity to defend herself,” Oniya said.