Paul Obi in Abuja
Justice E. S. Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, monday ordered the extradition of Emmanuel Okoyomon, former Managing Director/CEO of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPM) to the United Kingdom (UK) to face charges of corruption and money laundering.
A statement issued by the spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said Okoyomon’s extradition was being sought by the UK government over his alleged role in the bribery allegation involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) the Mint and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.
Arguing against his extradition, Alex Izinyon (SAN) counsel to the accused, had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain and determine the matter, saying that there was no extradition treaty between Nigeria and the UK.
According to him, Nigeria was not a party to the 1931 Extradition Treaty between it and the UK.
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He explained that the 1931 treaty became applicable to Nigeria in 1935 and was never repealed by any enactment, stressing that Schedule 2 under the Extradition Law provides that, “the law shall apply to all Commonwealth nations”.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Chukwu ordered that the accused, Okoyomon, be extradited within 30 days from the date of the ruling to face trial in the UK while being remanded in prison custody pending his extradition.
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