Kayode Sesan | Lagos
There were strong indications on Wednesday that Switzerland might extradite a Nigerian oil baron, Kola Aluko, to the United Kingdom, Nigeria’s Punch newspaper is reporting.
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, in an electronic mail to Punch newspapers, confirmed that the UK had sought for mutual legal assistance from its country.
In an e-mail sent to it, the office of the AGF of Switzerland was asked if it had received extradition request from the UK on the businessman.
It was also asked to specify the time the extradition process would begin and when he would be extradited.
In his response, Nathalie Guth of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, stated, “I refer to your request of today and we can confirm that the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has received a request for mutual legal assistance from England in this context.”
He declined to give further information on the request.
Indications however suggest that “the mutual legal assistance” could lead to eventual extradition of Aluko to the UK in connection with the investigation of former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
When contacted on Wednesday, the spokesperson for the UK High Commission in Abuja, Joe Abuku, said the official that could give information on Aluko’s extradition was out of town and could not be reached on the telephone.
“I can’t give any information on the extradition issue because the official that would brief me is out of town and cannot be reached on the phone, but I will try and get him tomorrow (today),” he said.
Aluko is an associate of Alison-Madueke, who was arrested in the UK last week for alleged bribery and money laundering.
Another oil baron and Chairman of Atlantic Energy, Jide Omokore, was on Monday quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the ongoing investigation into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Operatives of the EFCC had Friday last week searched the residence of Alison-Madueke in Asokoro, Abuja.
The operatives stormed the ex-minister’s residence shortly after she was arrested by the police in the UK.
Alison-Madueke was arrested by the operatives of the National Crime Agency in London in connection with fraud and bribery offences.
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