A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the extradition of Emmanuel Okoyomon, a former managing director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), to face corruption charges in the United Kingdom.
Delivering judgment, the trial judge, Justice Evoh Chukwu held that Okoyomon should be extradited to the UK within thirty days.
The judge also held that Okoyomon failed to put up any reasonable counter-affidavit to controvert the charges of alleged bribery brought against him by the Federal Government.
“Therefore, the extradition application succeeds”, Justice Chukwu ruled.
Okoyomon is wanted in the UK over his alleged role in the bribery scandal involving officials of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the NSPMC and Securency International Pty of Australia, between 2006 and 2008.
His counsel, Mr Alex Izinyon (SAN) had during the trial argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the application to extradite his client.
Izinyon had contended that the1931 treaty which the prosecution counsel is relying upon had been repealed by Decree No 87 of 1966.
He argued that the 1931 treaty between UK and Nigeria was just an agreement, not a law.
“I submit that, even if you want to consider that, it was between UK and United States and it governs the protectorate that was under UK then. We have since left in 1960,” he had argued.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Muslim Hassan, on his part, had argued that the 1931 treaty became applicable to Nigeria in 1935 and that it was never repealed by any enactment.
Hassan further told the court thus: “Schedule 2 under extradition law provides that the law shall apply to all Commonwealth nations”.
The prosecution had, therefore, urged the court not to grant his plea based on the extradition treaty of 1931 between Nigeria and the UK, he said, which is applicable in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that CBN and NSPM officials were accused of receiving bribes to effect the changing of the Nigerian bank notes from paper notes to polymer, which was launched on October 1, 2009.
Sequel to this change, the N5, N10, and N50 notes were redesigned in polymer material as against the original paper version.