The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, issued an order for the extradition of Ayodeji Fatumbi, (a.k.a Paul Olawale) to the U.S. to face trial in respect of an indictment against him.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba who delivered judgment on the suit held that the Attorney-General of the Federation satisfied all the conditions necessary for the extradition of Fatumbi.
“Having carefully examined the processes before me, I hereby state that I am convinced that the Applicant satisfied all the above conditions necessary for the extradition of the Respondent as provided in the Extradition Act.
“I hereby, therefore, issue the order for the extradition of the Respondent to the U.S. pursuant to the provisions of the Extradition Act (Cap. E25) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria to face trial in respect of the Indictment in Case No. CR13-0323.
“The case is before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California filed on May, 9 2013, and this is to be done no later than 30 days from the date of this judgment,” the judge said.
The attorney-general instituted the case following an alleged request by the government of the U.S. for the extradition and surrender of Fatumbi based on a 9-count indictment.
The indictments included conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The attorney-general had told the court that from the exhibits attached to the application, he was satisfied that Fatumbi had been validly indicted for the offences for which his surrender was sought.
He maintained that the request for extradition and surrender was one that was made in good faith, in compliance with the law and in the interest of justice.
“The offences charged against the respondent in the extradition request are not trivial nor political in nature and discriminatory.”
He also told the court that he was satisfied that there was no criminal proceeding against Fatumbi in Nigeria for the offences for which his extradition and surrender was sought.
Fatumbi had, however, denied all the allegations contending that they were baseless and unfounded and also challenged the competence of the suit.
He had contended that the attorney-general was statutorily barred from extraditing him as a result of the racial discrimination he faced while he lived in the U.S.
He also told the court that he was being harassed by the allegations in the charge because he was a Nigerian.
The order is to be carried out within 30 days from the date of the judgment.
Fatunmbi with others allegedly laundered Medicare funds in order to purchase fraudulent prescriptions for power wheelchairs and pay illegal kickbacks to recruit Medicare beneficiaries in the U.S. (NAN)