JUSTICE Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, dismissed the application for joinder filed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on the ground that it is a misuse of court processes and a deliberate ploy to run away from justice in the United Kingdom, UK. The judge disclosed this while delivering a ruling on AlisonMadueke’s application to be joined as a defendant in the money laundering charge filed against Dele Belgore, SAN, alongside the former Minister
of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman. Justice Aikawa said, “This is not the proper time to join the applicant as a defendant. The applicant has aroused my curiosity as to why she waited this long before coming up with the application for joinder. The court lacks the power to interfere with the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF. The application for joinder is lacking in merit and same is hereby dismissed.” It would be recalled that AlisonMadueke’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, had prior to this time urged Justice Aikawa to issue an order, directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to list her as a party to a N500 million fraud charge involving Belgore and Suleiman. The former petroleum resources minister had made the request at the continuation of the trial of the duo on a five count charge bordering on the alleged offence. The EFCC had dragged the duo before the judge, wherein it named Alison-Madueke as an accomplice in the criminal trial. But the commission said the
former petroleum resources minister was at large. Meanwhile, Ikpeazu told the court about a motion on notice dated September 29 and an affidavit of 16 paragraphs, together with a written address, which he is relying on. “We have received the counter affidavit of counsels, but there remains yet, one consideration which should touch the conscience of parties. “In the fourth count of the charge, the applicant’s name was mentioned clearly, and there is no alteration to the fact that she has been charged; it simply suggests that it is a consummated complaint. “By the definition of Section of 494(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, a defendant is any person against whom a complaint or charge is made, while a charge refers to an allegation that any named person has committed an offence. “From count one to count four, the name of the applicant was mentioned as an accomplice. It would be in the interest of justice to join her in the charge.

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