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Court Orders Ex-MINT Boss Extradition To UK

Faith Aghaeze, Abuja

Justice E. S Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja yesterday has ordered the extradition of Emmanuel Okoyomon, former managing director and chief executive officer, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPM) to the United Kingdom to face charges of corruption and money laundering.

A statement by the ,Wilson Uwujaren Head, Media & Publicity of the EFCC, said Okoyomon’s extradition is being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

Arguing the matter, Mr. Alex   Izinyon, SAN, counsel to the accused, had 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.

According to him, Nigeria is not a party to the 1931 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria and United States of America. Izinyon further argued that, the London Scheme for extradition within the Commonwealth, 2002, does not apply in Nigeria.

He urged the court to dismiss the extradition application. However, M. S Hassan who represented the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, countered Izinyon’s submission.

He explained that the 1931 treaty became applicable to Nigeria in 1935 and was never repealed by any enactment, stressing that schedule 2 under Extradition law provides that, “the law shall apply to all Commonwealth Nations.”

Ruling on the matter today, Justice Chukwu ordered that the accused, Okoyomon, be extradited within thirty days from the date of the ruling to face trial in the United Kingdom while being remanded in prison custody pending his extradition.

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