Activist wants UK, US courts to accelerate cases involving Nigeria’s ex-officials

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courtroom1A human rights lawyer, Chief Akpan Udoh, has advised UK and US to accelerate the hearing of criminal cases against past Nigeria officials within their jurisdictions.

Udoh gave the advice when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

He said the agreement between Nigeria and the two countries on justice administration could be made more meaningful if pending cases were heard expeditiously.

His words: “This is in view of the fact that criminal charges do not survive the demise of the suspects.

“For instance, the pending application seeking the repatriation of late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by the UK Government has become useless.

“Basically, the Nigeria Government and its peoples have been denied justice by this delay and the accused person’s demise.”

NAN reports that the British government has contemplated resurrecting the case against Alamieyeseigha.

Britain had requested for the extradition of the former governor to London to answer an outstanding case in the UK on money laundering even in the face of a presidential pardon.

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, was quoted as saying that Buhari-led government was prepared to assent to the request of the British Government before his sudden death.

NAN further reports that Alamieyeseigha, who was facing money laundering charges, reportedly jumped bail in the UK and returned to Nigeria and was pardoned by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Udoh, however, said the British government should conclude pending criminal charges in their country against past Nigeria public officers.

“By so doing, justice will be served our country and its citizens. More importantly, money recovered from such cases will be repatriated to assist boost the ailing economy.”

NAN recalls that former governor of Delta, James Ibori, is presently serving prison term in the UK, while former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is standing trial in that country on money laundering. (NAN)

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Hamilton Nwosa

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