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Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Tuesday signified her interest to return to Nigeria and defend a criminal trial against her.

She said this while urging a Lagos Federal High Court to compel the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, to bring her back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom.

Alison-Madueke has been linked with a N450m money laundering case before the Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

Others involved in the trial include, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had alleged that Belgore and Suleiman were charged for allegedly collecting N450m from Diezani and laundering the sum in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

EFCC alleged that the N450m was part of a sum of $115m which Diezani allegedly used to compromise the 2015 general elections.

She made the appeal in an application filed on her behalf before Justice Rilwan Aikwa by an Abuja based lawyer, Obinna Onya which seeks to join her as one of the defendants in the trial.

Onya noted that contrary to the declaration by the EFCC that Diezani was at large, the former minister was in the UK and was willing to return to Nigeria so that she could appear in court to take her plea and defend the charges..

He contended that since Diezani’s name had been linked to the charge, it would be against her right to fair hearing for the case to proceed without affording her the opportunity to defend herself.

Onya said, “The statement made by the prosecution means that the applicant (Diezani) is going to be convicted without being given the opportunity to defend herself.”

He prayed for an order “mandating the Attorney General of the Federation, being the agent of the complainant, to facilitate the prompt appearance of the applicant in court on the next adjourned date, to take her plea and to defend the allegations made against her in counts 1, 2,3 and 4 of the charge, numbered FHC/L/35c/2017.”

However, EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application, saying it was not ripe for hearing, as he had yet to be served.

After listening to arguments by all the counsels involved in the trial, Justice Aikawa adjourned the matter till tomorrow.

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BREAKING: Hoodlums Set Ojodu Police Station In Lagos Ablaze, Vehicles Destroyed

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Hoodlums on Thursday morning set another facility belonging to the Nigeria Police Force on Fire in the Ojodu Berger axis of Lagos State, destroying properties worth several millions of naira.

No fewer than eight vehicles were destroyed in the inferno by the mob said to have been protesting police brutality and an end to bad governance.

Also, several shops housed by the facilities were torched down by the hoodlums with goods running to million destroyed.

It was learnt that some of the goods were also looted by the irate youths who were said to have been planning the arson since Wednesday morning.

Our correspondents gathered that the attack was prevented yesterday after the division called for more back up and mounted a roadblock to wade off the hoodlums.

As of the time of filing this report, officials of the Lagos State Fire are trying to put out the inferno.

Details shortly…

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BREAKING: Gunshots As Police, Army Arrive Stop Attempted Jailbreak At Ikoyi Prison [VIDEO]

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Policemen and soldiers have arrived at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre in a bid to foil an attempted jailbreak.

A video sent to our correspondent by an eyewitness shows smoke billowing from parts of the center while inmates are seen running.

It was learnt that the prison authorities had immediately notified the police and the military authorities for backup.

The eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I can see them from my balcony at the moment. Soldiers and policemen have arrived. I saw prisoners throwing stones and I saw fire.

“A lot of the prison officials have gathered at the entrance of the prison while some of the inmates have retreated.”

Our correspondent also heard gunshots emanating from the prisons.

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BREAKING: Buhari Presides Over Security Council Meeting

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is currently presiding over a meeting of the National Security Council at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting which started at about 11 am is holding amidst violence in parts of the country.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.); Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar are among those in attendance.

Also present are the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufa’i.

Details later…

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