Published On: Tue, Aug 22nd, 2017

Again, Court Orders Forfeiture Of 56 Houses Allegedly Owned By Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alsison-Madueke

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By Sadiq Umar – A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the interim forfeiture of 56 houses believed to be owned by former Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The forfeited houses are valued at $22 million ($21,982,224 or N3.3 billion) allegedly bought by Mrs Alison-Madueke between 2011 and 2013 .

Former Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister

Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court granted the order following an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC).

The presiding judge also granted the anti-corruption agency the power to appoint a firm to manage the properties and gave the respondents 14 days to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.

The order followed an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking forfeiture of the assets.

In the application, EFCC told the court that the assets are “ill-gotten properties from alleged acts of corruption”.

The houses located in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, were allegedly acquired by the ex-minister by proxy.

The houses seized included 21 mixed housing units of eight four bedroom penthouse apartment; six buildings of three bedroom apartments; two buildings of three bedrooms apartment and one building of four bedrooms apartment, all ensuite, located at 7 Thurnburn Street and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba. They were all valued at N937 million.

There were also 16-four bedrooms terrace buildings, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port-Harcourt, River state, valued at N928 million.

Also forfeited were 13 three-bedroom with one room maid’s quarter situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million; and six flats of three bedrooms and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million.

The EFCC said, while Dieziani was serving as a minister, she allegedly paid the sum of $16,441,906 in cash for the property from the proceeds of suspected unlawful activity.

The forfeiture is the latest of previous ones the former minister has made to the federal government.

On August 7, a Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the permanent forfeiture of a $37.5m sky-scrapper on the highbrow Banana Island, Lagos, belonging to her.

The court had also ordered that the sums of $2.7 million and N84.5 million realised as rents on the property should equally be forfeited to the government.

Earlier in February, the embattled ex-minister forfeited $153 million said to be linked to her.

The EFCC said so far, it had traced N47.2 billion and $487.5 million to the former minister.

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