Law News
You can’t extradite me to UK, Okomoyon tells FG

In a dramatic  move to stall his extradition to the United Kingdom for trial over alleged bribe scam, the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company of Nigeria, Mr. Ehidiamhen Okoyomon, on Monday challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal Government to extradite him to Europe for prosecution.

As soon as the case was called, Okoyomon rose through his defence counsel, Chief Alex Isiyon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and told the court, presided over by Justice E.S. Chukwu, that it did not have jurisdiction to send him to the UK for trial over the alleged bribery scam.

Ehidiamhen Okoyomon

The lawyer, who had already filed a preliminary objection to the move to send his client to the UK for trial, argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to even hear the case since there was no extradition treaty between Nigeria and that country.

Isiyon argued that his client must be shown the document containing the extradition treaty between the two nations to warrant the trial or it should be discontinued forthwith in the interest of the law.

He said:”We want to be shown where this is in the law. What we have is only protocol not extradition treaty.”

However, the prosecuting counsel, M.S Hassan, told the court that he had not been served with the application and urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

After hearing both sides in the matter, Justice Chukwu was forced to adjourn hearing till Thursday this week.

He however asked the EFCC to keep Okoyomon in its custody until the adjourned date.

The extradition process is being initiated against by the Office of Attorney General of the Federation, OAGF.

Okoyomon’s extradition is being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery scandal involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Nigeria Security Minting and Printing Company, NSPMC, and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

For the first time since it came into power, the Jonathan administration is making moves to hand over a financial crime suspect for trial in a foreign land, apparently to prove that it is actively fighting corruption.

Okoyomon, who holds dual Nigerian and British citizenship, was the chief executive of the NSMPC until November 2013 when he was suspended by the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the wake of the disappearance of printed N1000 notes worth N1.2 billion from the premises of the company in Abuja.

Before then, he had been under investigation since 2012 by the anti-graft agency following request by the British National Crime Agency over a different matter, the alleged collection of N750 million Naira bribe from Securency of Australia for the printing of polymer notes for Nigeria.

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