Court orders extradition of ex-MD of security, Mint and printing company to UK over alleged criminal charges

It was revealed that a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the extradition of a former Managing Director of Nigerian Security, Minting and Printing Company, Mr. Ehidiamhem Okoyomon, to the United Kingdom to face criminal charges.

Justice Evoh Chukwu ordered that Okoyomon be extradited to the UK within 30 days.

He ordered the former NSMPC boss to be remanded in prison pending the time the extradition processes would be completed.

The court was delivering judgment on the extradition application filed on September 29, 2014 by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN).

The court had earlier on Monday struck out a separate suit filed by Okoyomon challenging his arrest and detention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission based on the request by the British High Commission in Nigeria for his extradition.

The court held in its judgment in Okoyomon’s suit that the Attorney-General of the Federation having filed the application for his extradition, his suit had become academic.

The court also dismissed his preliminary objection to the AGF’s extradition application.

It held that Okoyomon, through his counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), “has no defence for this application and did not make any attempt to counter it.”

It also held that the AGF had satisfied all the requirements under the Extradition Act Cap E25 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 for the extradition of the man who was said to have been indicted for criminal offences in the UK.

Okoyomon’s lawyer, Izinyon, had argued in both the preliminary objection and in his counter-affidavit opposing the application that there was no reciprocal extradition treaty between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

He argued that the 1931 Extradition Treaty between the United States of America and the United Kingdom as well as the London Scheme of Extradition within the Commonwealth both of which the AGF anchored the extradition application on were not enforceable in Nigeria.

He maintained that Nigeria was not a party to the treaties and that they had not been domesticated by the National Assembly in accordance with the provisions of section 12(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He argued that the Extradition Treaty of 1931 had been repealed in Nigeria by virtue of section 21(3) of Schedule 4 of Decree 87 of 1966.

He also argued that the London Scheme for Extradition was an agreement between the United States of America and the UK, which had yet to be domesticated in Nigeria.

He said having not been domesticated in accordance with its provisions in Article 22, the London Scheme for Extradition could not be applicable in Nigeria.

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