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Ex-Mint boss urges appeal court to quash extradition order




Former Managing Director of Nigeria Security Minting and Printing Company (NSMPC), Emmanuel Ehidiamhem Okoyomon has prayed the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, to set aside the verdict of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, acceding to the request of the Federal Government to extradite him to the United Kingdom for trial.

Already, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal, Okoyomon has also moved to stall any possible attempt or the government to whisk him away to the United Kingdom by filing a motion to stay execution of the said verdict delivered on May 4, 2015.

In a notice of appeal filed on the appellant’s (Okoyomon’s) behalf by his counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), he formulated four grounds why the decision of the Federal High Court should be upturned.

In ground one of the said Appeal Notice, Izinyon (SAN) contended “the learned trial Judge erred in law when he ordered the extradition of the appellant to Great Britain to stand criminal trial.”

He cited three particulars of error to support ground one, which includes the following: There is no subsisting Act of the National Assembly or treaty between Nigeria and Great Britain upon which the decision of the court was premised; there was also no Order made by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria applying the provisions of the Extradition Act. Cap E25, LFN 2004 to Great Britain as envisaged by Section 1(6) of ‎the Extradition Act,

Cap E25, LFN 2004; the Order for the Extradition of the Appellant is not supported by any legislation.

On ground two, Izinyon submitted that “the learned trial court erred in law when he held that the Extradition Treaty between Great Britain and the United States of America signed at London on 22nd November, 1931 is applicable to Nigeria and ordered the extradition of the Appella‎nt to Great Britain to stand trial, relying on the said treaty between Great Britain and the United States of America”.

In support of ground two, he cited seven particulars of error, where he stated that “the said treaty between the Great Britain and United States of America is not applicable to Nigeria.”

However, wary that government may overreach him and extradite him to the UK, Okoyomon filed a motion for stay of execution of the extradition order of Justice Evoh Chukwu.

In the said motion, he prayed the court for an order of court staying the execution of Justice Chukwu’s judgement delivered on May 4, 2015.

The United Kingdom had forwarded an extradition request to the Federal Government for Okoyomon, requiring him to come answer to charges relating to his alleged role in the bribery scandal involving officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the NSMPC and Securency International Pty of Australia between 2006 and 2008.

But Okoyomon in a preliminary objection filed by Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) against the extradition request, He prayed the court to reject the AGF’s application as he contended that there was no existing treaty between Nigeria and the UK to warrant the extradition of his client.

In a decision delivered by Justice Evoh Chukwu after several failed attempts, the court said all laid down procedures for the extradition application to succeed had been met.

Justice Chukwu also held that ‎there was an existing extradition treaty between UK and Nigeria.
Consequently, he ordered that the AGF within thirty days extradites Okoyomon to the UK for his trial.

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