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Nigeria applies to US for el-Rufai’s extradition

Nigeria Tribune

Lanre Adewole, Abuja
Monday, July 20, 2009
THE Federal Government is said to have formally applied to the United States of America for the extradition of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, in order to face trial in Nigeria for alleged fraud while in office.

An eight-count charge of criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, misappropriation of N32 billion and allocation of land to associates and family members slammed on the former minister and two associates by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also been pasted on his Abuja residence, as ordered by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The EFCC’s spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, confirmed the pasting of the charge. The house is located at No. 12 Mambila Street, Maitama, Abuja.

Nigerian Tribune gathered from a source that the commission routed its extradition request through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mike Aondoaaka (SAN), who in turn reportedly forwarded the request to the relevant authorities in the United States under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries.

The commission’s request was received in the minister’s office penultimate Thursday. It could not be confirmed at the time of filing the report if the United States had communicated the Federal Government over the request.

An International Treaty between Nigeria and United States of America empowers the anti-graft commission to extradite the embattled former minister using the instrumentality of the Nigerian government.

The treaty entitled “TREATY BETWEEN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS” was signed at Washington on November 2, 1987.

The introductory part states that “the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the government of the United States of America, hereinafter called the “Contracting Parties”.

The provision of the Treaty which deals with deportation of nationals of the two contracting parties when such is required is under Article XVIII entitled “Information on Crimes, Arrests, Convictions, and Deportations”

Meanwhile, following the commission’s inability to serve the charge on el-Rufai who is resident in the US, the commission asked the trial court for an order to have the charge pasted on his residence.

Justice Adamu Bello last Thursday granted the request, though he said he believed that the former minister was aware of the charge which made him to engage the services of the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi SAN.

When the matter came up on July 8, former General Manager of Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) Altine Jubrin and former Director General Ismaila Iro who were also charged with the former minister were present.

The judge fixed October 14 for el-Rufai’s plea. The commission had declared el-Rufai wanted over the alleged fraud. Nigerian Tribune gathered that el-Rufai has many petitions against him which the commission had been investigating, with a petition from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) said to be receiving top priority from the commission.

Documents secured by the Nigerian Tribune had revealed an alleged conversion of 13 plots of land originally allocated in the Abuja Master Plan to the PHCN, for his family use, despite warnings from top civil servants in the ministry and construction giants, Julius Berger, which was reportedly given the contract to convert the plots for private use.

The plots located in Asokoro Area D were allegedly distributed among himself, his wife and children.

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Comment by Akpama steve on July 24, 2009 at 10:37am
A kind of cankerworm eating deeply into the Nigeria system,who will save us from continuous embarassment.
Comment by Babalola oluwatosin on July 23, 2009 at 3:06pm
is a very painful,4 what happen during his time,dis man make people go hungay,expose to rain,crying and lust of property,everybody is awere now but just a while u see that know body we hear that again, but what i know 4 sure is that if they refuse to punish him,the soul of people that he cause this pain 4, we punish him
Comment by owoyemi olayemi on July 22, 2009 at 5:11pm
'NEMESIS'
Comment by Chika Uche Dudu on July 22, 2009 at 11:46am
Dont let that fool go unpunished, Fool like him deserve to die in gel rubish
Comment by ebenych on July 22, 2009 at 1:53am
is this a lesson for the coming leaders who are youths now not to attempt to do the right things,the only crime he committed is that he demolished houses of some so-called powerful men,i knew he was doing the right thing for his jurisdiction,yes, the poor masses were affected including me,but i have come to realise that for change to take place,some people will lose,and lose deeply.but come to think of it,abuja is reverted to the state of lawlessness it was heading b4 elrufai came in,the things he is being accused of doing are happening now,no excuses for corruption...but if a man does a good work at his time,let him be praised,then if anything is found to be amiss during his tenure,nothing is wrong i charging him to court...but let there be fair hearing and unsentimental judgement...he who lives in glass house does not throw stones...a word is enough for the wise...if not tell why 2 sets of roads are costing 2ice all the roads across nigeria...
Comment by KING AYO.1 on July 21, 2009 at 11:30pm
It's unfortunate that Nigeria has this bad way of saying well done. Every citizen of Abuja will agree to d fact that we wact compare Elrufai with any other so called 7 point agenda Ministers.
But i expect him to be in China studying Banderiene(language). He publicly acknowledge that the world economy is moving to asia, and he neeed to learn chinese language to be able to flow with the economy. This encourages me, dat im also looking in dat direction,
I think Yaradua should think beyond 7 Point.
Comment by basamta on July 21, 2009 at 1:09pm
i am stupefied to speechlessness!
what a way to tarnish all his achievements!
Help me DAD not to repeat his mistakes!
Help him Lord, to come out of this stronger!
and help our nation God, to simply become better! its the least we can ask!
AMEN!!!
Comment by tosin love on July 21, 2009 at 11:56am
he should face trial in nigeria,he should be given the rigth punishment,dat is wat people like u deserve in full measure.since they dnt care abt other nigerians.all they no hw to do best is eating our money.
Comment by Victor on July 21, 2009 at 11:28am
Nigeria Nigeria Nigeria, when would we begin to take this country seriously? Our problem had always been greed, selfishness and not putting the national interest first without reservations. El rufai did a mavelous job in Abuj no doubt, lets not condemn all he did cos he messed up bcos of the selfishness and greed that run in our blood. Lets justice be done, lets not 4get that many others had done worse and got away. We must start to have good precedents to pursue other cases. We should also stop been sentimental by saying that El rufai made so many people homeless thereby he must face the music, he's gonna face trial based on his crimes and not cos he made people homeless, he did what was right at that time. Lets face reality with out sentiment. There's a case he had to answer, let him answer it and if found guilty let him do his time in jail....Lets reason
Comment by nnaji chibueze eze on July 21, 2009 at 10:31am
The evil that men do lives with them.After rendering so many people homeless at Abuja,He cant go unpunished
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