Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Judge Defers Ruling Again On Ex-MINT Boss Extradition

Justice E. S. Chukwu of theFederal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 adjourned ruling on the extradition proceedings brought by the office of Attorney General of the Federation against former managing director of Nigeria Security Minting and Printing Company, NSMPC, Ehidiamhem Okoyomon, to January 23, 2015.

According to a press release by the EFCC, Okoyomon is wanted in the United Kingdom over his alleged role in the bribery scandal involving officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the NSMPC and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

In a bid to stall his extradition to the UK for trial over the alleged bribe scam, Okoyomon had in October, through his counsel, Alex Iziyon, SAN, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the application to extradite him. Iziyon had argued that the 1931 treaty which the prosecution counsel M. S. Hassan relied upon had been repealed by Decree No 87 of 1966, and was not a law.

Hassan had however countered his argument explaining that the 1931 treaty became applicable to Nigeria in 1935 and was never repealed by any enactment, stressing that schedule 2 under extradition law provides that “the law shall apply to all Commonwealth nations”.

It would be recalled thatJustice Chukwu after listening to the argument of both counsel had on October7, 2014 fixed December 1, 2014 for ruling on the matter. However, justice Chukwu adjourned his ruling on that day (December 1, 2014) to December 17, 2014 for reasons that he had not finished writing the ruling. At the resumed sitting today, the judge asked both the prosecuting and defence counsel to come back on January 23, 2015 as the ruling was almost ready.

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