An Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice E. S Chukwu on Monday, May 4, 2015 ordered the extradition of former managing director and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPM), Mr. Emmanuel Okoyomon to the United Kingdom to face charges of corruption and money laundering
Okoyomon’s extradition is being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the NSPM and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.
The extradition process was initiated before the court by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN. Adoke told the court that the ex-Mint boss was needed in the UK over his alleged role in a bribery scandal involving officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the NSMPC and Securency International Pty of Australia.
Arguing the matter, Alex Izinyon, SAN, counsel to the accused, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain and determine the matter saying, that there is no extradition treaty between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
He specifically said that Nigeria is not a party to the 1931 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria and United States of America, adding that the London Scheme for extradition within the Commonwealth, 2002, does not apply in Nigeria.
Izinyon therefore urged the court to dismiss the extradition application.
However, M. S Hassan, who represented the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, countered Izinyon’s submission, saying that the 1931 treaty became applicable to Nigeria in 1935 and was never repealed by any enactment, stressing that schedule 2 under the Extradition law provides that, “the law shall apply to all Commonwealth Nations”
In his ruling, Justice Chukwu ordered that the accused, Okoyomon, be extradited within 30 days from the date of the ruling to face trial in the United Kingdom while being remanded in prison custody pending the extradition.
This court order is likely to send jitters down the spines of two senators-elect in Nigeria; one in Bayelsa and the other in Ogun who are alleged fugitives with drugs or fraud cases to answer – one in the United States, the other in the United Kingdom.