SaharaReporters has confirmed from the Attorney General’s Office in Switzerland that the United Kingdom has requested Mutual Legal Assistance from Swiss authorities for the detention of Kola Aluko.
Mr. Aluko is the alleged money launderer for the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
SaharaReporters broke the news earlier today that Kola Aluko has holed himself up in his regal estate in southern Switzerland after learning of Alison-Madueke’s arrest in the United Kingdom. Alison-Madueke and four others are confirmed to have been arrested by agents attached to the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK for bribery and other financial crimes.
In an email to SaharaReporters, Nathalie Guth of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said, “I can give you the additional information, that the OAG has received a request for mutual assistance from England.” Mrs. Guth bolded ‘from England’ to emphasize that it was the UK, not Nigeria, requesting Mr. Aluko’s detention.
This communication from the Swiss Attorney General’s Office contradicts reports earlier from Reuters news that it was Nigeria which had requested the assistance from Switzerland.
SaharaReporters spoke with Femi Adesina, the Senior Special Adviser for Media and Publicity to President Buhari, who told SaharaReporters that he did not want to comment on whether Nigeria requested mutual assistance from the Swiss because he did not have all the information.
SaharaReporters also called Mr. Aluko’s home phone number, +41919402714, but it has been disconnected since our last communication with his employee yesterday.
A call to the Home Office department in charge of Mutual Legal Assistance did not yield any result, as the officer who answered our call said he could not provide information about MLAs but the office confirmed they knew of Mr. Aluko.
The request to the office of the Swiss Attorney General was necessitated by rumors earlier today that Mr. Aluko had been arrested by Swiss authorities.