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FG procures new passport for Alamieyeseigha ... set for his extradition • Tribunal orders IG to produce him

Posted by Yusuf Alli and Segun Olatunji on 2005/12/14 | Views: 587 |

FG procures new passport for Alamieyeseigha ... set for his extradition • Tribunal orders IG to produce him


The Federal Government on Wednesday night allegedly procured a new international passport for the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

The Federal Government on Wednesday night allegedly procured a new international passport for the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

The procurement of the passport is preparatory to his extradition to London where he jumped bail while standing trial for money laundering.

Findings showed that the former governor was taken to the Passport Office of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Garki, Area 3, Abuja, at 8.15pm by a four-man team of policemen.

The movement of the former governor was effected in a convoy of six vehicles.

It was learnt that members of the team were a Deputy Commissioner of Police, in mufti; and a Deputy Superintendent of Police and two Assistant Superintendents of Police in uniform.

Alamieyeseigha, who was in handcuffs, wore a solemn look as he alighted from a blue Hiace bus at the Passport Office.

When he came out of the bus, the handcuffs were removed to enable him climb upstairs.

Clad in a white long-sleeved shirt over black trousers, the former governor was said to have answered all questions on his dossier “calmly.”

A source said, “The Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Mr. Joseph Udeh, supervised the processing of a new passport for him by an Assistant Comptroller General and Comptroller.

“As I am talking to you now, the former governor has been issued a new international passport to enable him go back to London.”

He said the development was a signal that Nigeria and Britain had reached “some understanding to extradite Alamieyeseigha.”

But the source could not immediately ascertain when Alamieyeseigha will be flown to London.

Our correspondents learnt that the former governor might be flown to London any moment from now.

President Olusegun Obasanjo had at the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said the governor would accede to a request by Britain to extradite Alamieyeseigha.

A Crown Court had last Thursday issued a warrant for his arrest when the former governor failed to appear before it during the resumption of his trial on December 8.

Alamieyeseigha was arrested at the Heathrow Airport, London on September 15 for laundering over £1million.

On October 14, the Southward Crown Court granted Alamieyeseigha bail with six conditions, including the seizure of his passports.

Despite the restriction of his movement to a three-mile radius of any port or airport, the former governor jumped bail and fled to Nigeria.

The odium attracted by his action was one of the offences which accounted for his removal on December 9 by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

In Kaduna, the Code of Conduct Tribunal ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero, to produce Alamieyeseigha before it on Wednesday.

Alamieyeseigha, who has been in police custody since his removal from office and arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday, is to face fresh 18 charges of corrupt enrichment and illegal acquisition of property.

The charges were filed immediately after the lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, received the tribunal’s nod to withdraw the former 19-count charge brought against Alamieyeseigha by the Federal Government.

Jacobs had told the CCT, headed by Justice Bashir Sambo, that the former charges, which included false declaration of assets; operation of foreign bank accounts; and abuse of office,had been overtaken by event.

He said that the prosecution was unable to produce the embattled former governor due to the inability of the police to issue relevant documents for his release and movement to Kaduna.

The counsel therefore prayed the CCT to issue a production warrant on Ehindero or the force headquarters to enable the Federal Government bring Alamieyeseigha before it on December 21, 2005.

Counsel to Alamieyeseigha, Mr. Adebisi Ofeoshi and Mr. Edafe Eniakpor, objected, expressing displeasure with the prosecution’s style of handling the case against their client.

They argued that the defence did not follow laid down legal procedures in their presentation of the fresh charges against Alamieyeseigha.

Ofeoshi and Eniakpor argued that the oral application by the prosecution counsel to withdraw the former charges and replace them with the new ones was improper.

Besides, they cited the lack of affidavit or summary of proof of evidence supporting the new charges as another reason why Jacobs application should be rejected.

Eniakpor also told the tribunal that Alamieyeseigha had been denied access to his lawyers since his arrest.

But his claim was faulted by Jacobs who said that Mr. Femi Falana had been having access to the former governor.

Sambo, in a brief ruling, directed the prosecution to provide the evidence of proof to support the fresh charges before the close of work on Wednesday in order to continue the trial on December 21.

Like the former 19 charges, the fresh ones centre on false declaration, operation and maintenance of foreign bank accounts and abuse of office.

All the offences are contrary to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 56 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 as incorporated under the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.

The PUNCH, Thursday, December 15, 2005

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.