A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has instituted a suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation over what she termed a false and malicious attempt to “paint her as a common criminal”, Saturday PUNCH reports.
The matter filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, with Suit No. CV/6273/2023, was signed by her legal representation, led by Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
It had the EFCC and AGF as the first and second defendants respectively.
Alison-Madueke requested the sum of N100m to be paid as damages for the “false accusations and publications” written against her by the EFCC.
She also added that the EFCC must apologise in at least three national dailies for the “injurious damage to her reputation”.
The EFCC, on August 8, 2017, released an expose titled, ‘EFCC traces N47.2bn, $487.5m to ex-Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke’, accusing the former minister of fraud and money laundering.
Alison-Madueke left the country shortly after leaving office in 2015.
Shortly after the EFCC publication, several other sums of money and other assets, including jewellery and houses, linked to her had been seized and forfeited to the Federal Government.
Alison-Madueke, in her suit against the EFCC and AGF, denied the allegations, adding that the publication by the anti-graft agency was ‘maliciously written and authored and/or caused to be written, authored or published to the whole world at large’.
In the statement of claim, Alison-Madueke, through her lawyer, Ozekhome, said the reason she left the country on May 22, 2015, was because she was diagnosed with ‘the most aggressive form of breast cancer – Triple Negative Cancer – and was hurriedly flown to England in order to undertake a critical course of treatment’.
Alison-Madueke further stated that ‘no money whatsoever to the tune of $72.8 million associated to her was discovered in Fidelity Bank.
“The claimant (Alison-Madueke) states that contrary to the ridiculous allegation made by the 1st defendant that the sum of N47.2 bn, $487.5 m, $2.5 bn, $72.8 m, etc, were traced to the claimant’s home and bank accounts are laughable as no home can house such an amount of cash except for the Central Bank of Nigeria; nor banks keep custody of such sums without alerting appropriate authorities.
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