Nigeria: Court Orders Final Seizure of Diezani’s Properties
A Nigerian court has ordered a final seizure of two properties and cars owned by former petroleum resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] said yesterday.
In the ruling, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the final forfeiture of two Abuja properties located at Plot 1854 Mohammed Mahashir Street, and No. 6, Aso Drive, in the highbrow Asokoro and Maitama Districts of Abuja. Both are said to be valued at $2,674,418 and N380, 000,000 respectively.
The luxury cars are a black BMW saloon with Chassis No B8CV54V66629 and registered number, RBC155 DH and a black Jaguar saloon car with Chassis No SAJAA.20 GRDMv43376, valued at N36, 000,000.
The EFCC said the judge gave the order forfeiting the assets to the federal government while ruling on the application by the Commission in Suit No. 1122/2021 and Suit No 1123/2021, asking for the final forfeiture of the assets.
The Commission had on November 29, 2021 secured the interim forfeiture on the assets in a ruling on separate motion ex-parte filed on September 27, 2021 which prayed the court to order the interim forfeiture of the assets on the grounds of reasonable suspicion that they were proceeds of unlawful activities.
In granting the interim forfeiture Order, Justice Olajuwon had ordered the EFCC to publish a notice in a national newspaper, inviting anyone with interest in the assets to show cause why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria.
The court consequently adjourned till January 22, 2022 for report. In compliance with the Order of Court, the Forfeiture Order was published in Thisday Newspaper of Wednesday April 6, 2022.
Alison-Madueke was a key figure in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan who served as petroleum minister from 2010 to 2015
While denying the allegations, Madueke has insisted that she was being victimized, and that she would not get justice under President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. She has accordingly kept away from all summon.
The former petroleum minister’s whereabouts is mostly unclear, but she was last known to be in Britain. A court has previously ordered the seizure of her upmarket property in the commercial capital Lagos and frozen funds that were said to be part of the rent collected from the property.
Reuters said in 2017, the U.S. Justice Department filed a civil complaint aimed at recovering about $144 million in assets allegedly obtained through bribes to the former minister.