A London court, on Monday, granted bail to a former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who faces bribery charges filed against her by the United Kingdom (UK) government.
District Judge Michael Snow granted her bail in terms and conditions including a curfew that ordered her to stay indoors between 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The judge also ordered her to always wear an electronic tag, and imposed a 70,000-pound surety to be paid before she could leave the court building on Monday.
According to Reuters, the former minister, during her Monday’s appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court, spoke only to give her name, date of birth and address, but she was not asked to formally enter a plea, after charges against her were read out in court.
Her lawyer, Mark Bowen, however told the court she would be pleading not guilty.
Mrs Alison-Madueke, who was Nigeria’s petroleum minister between 2010 and 2015, was charged with bribery offences in August, following a National Crime Agency investigation. She is scheduled to have her next court appearance at Southwark Crown Court, which deals with serious criminal cases on October 30.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday says it had commenced an extradition process to bring Diezani back to Nigeria to face trial.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the former minister stole $2.5bn from the Nigerian government while she was a minister, although efforts to arraign her have been unsuccessful as she has not returned to Nigeria since 2015.
Although the charges preferred against her at the London court, are diametrically different from the 13 counts, bordering on money laundering that the EFCC has raised against her, the anti-graft agency says the money laundering charges for which Madueke is answerable to the EFCC, cover jurisdictions in Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Nigeria.