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EFCC faces fresh hurdles over Ibori’s extradition

James Ibori's extradition commence today in Dubai

By Leke Adeseri, News Editor
LAGOS—THE legal procedure for extraditing former Governor James Ibori back to Nigeria will commence today in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, championing the move will have to depend on the outcome of the agreement between Britain and the UAE, since unlike the United Kingdom, Nigeria has no extradition treaty with UAE.

Confirming the position to Vanguard yesterday, EFCC’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi said: “We have to work closely with British government and the extradition has to be routed through them, but we are sure that they will not want to delay.”

Vanguard gathered from impeccable sources that the charges against the former governor would be filed before a Dubai Court.

Ibori, who was arrested in Dubai last Wednesday by the International Police, INTERPOL, though was released on bail, has had his travelling documents seized as he has been placed under restriction.

Meantime, the EFCC has said that the Presidency did not influence its decisions on which cases to investigate or take to court, stressing that its activities were strictly guided by law and not by pressure from any quarters.

The Commission said in a statement signed by Babafemi, yesterday, that the clarification became necessary following persistent insinuations in some media reports that the anti-graft agency had come under pressure from the Presidency to stop investigations or trial of some people believed to be close to government.

Babafemi said: “We wish to state emphatically that these insinuations are mere fabrications that have no root in reality.

The Commission and its leadership have enjoyed and continue to receive enormous support from the Presidency. This is an indication of the present administration’s commitment to the war against graft in our country and should, therefore, not be interpreted to mean that the EFCC is under the influence of the Presidency in the pursuit of its statutory responsibilities.

“In the same manner, we find it curious when some insinuate that the EFCC is under pressure from the Presidency to drop charges against some accused persons or give some others soft landing. Contrary to these claims, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has been fair to the Commission and has, at no time, interfered in its statutory duties.

“We are strictly guided in our decisions by the facts of a matter and not by any pressure from anywhere. As a result, we urge members of the public to disregard these insinuations as the EFCC will continue to function under the dictates of the law and not from any other quarter.”


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