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Diezani to Temporarily Forfeit $153m to FG following Court Order

BellaNaija.com

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Diezani Allison-Madueke

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday, issued an interim order of forfeiture to the Federal Government of $153.3 million belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The monies were said to be domiciled with three Nigerian  banks.

Justice Muslim Hassan gave the order following exparte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The commission averred that out of the total sum, about N23 billion was domiciled with Sterling Bank Plc., N9 billion with First Bank Plc., and about $5 million with Access Bank Plc.

After issuing the interim orders, the court also issued 14 days to Sterling Bank and any other interested party to appear and prove the legitimacy of the monies, failing which the funds would be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In an affidavit filed in support of the application, an EFCC investigator, Moses Awolusi, claimed that the anti-graft agency discovered through its investigations, communication between Diezani and a former Fidelity Bank Managing Director, Nnamdi Okonkwo.

He said that sometime in December 2014, Diezani invited Okonkwo to her office where they hatched the plan of how the cash would be moved from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to Okonkwo for safe-keeping.

According to him, Diezani instructed Okonkwo to ensure that the money was “neither credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms” of Fidelity Bank.

Awolusi said that Okonkwo accepted and implemented the deal leading to the movement of the sums from NNPC to Fidelity Bank.

He said that two former Group Executive Directors of Finance and Account of NNPC helped Diezani to move the cash from NNPC Abuja to the headquarters of Fidelity Bank in Lagos.

Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, moving the exparte application on Friday, urged the court to order an interim order of forfeiture.

He also urged the court to order Sterling Bank and others who were joined as defendants to appear in court and show why  the funds should not be permanently forfeited.

Oyedepo brought his application pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and Section 44(2) of the 1999 Constitution, and argued that granting the application was in the interest of justice.

Justice Hassan, after listening to submissions, granted the orders.

He adjourned to the case to January 24 for the respondents to appear in court to show why the funds should not be permanently forfeited.

10 Comments

  1. Derin87

    January 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    BN please what does temporarily forfeit mean? Shey na loan? …Be writing english you don’t understand

  2. mamajollof

    January 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

    buhari has been recovering stolen money since almost two years, but where is it going???? inside the leader’s pockets or what???? cause i havent seen any results yet

  3. Ebi

    January 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Please let’s agree that someone kept maybe a quarter of our money in different banks.for her use and those of her cronies, i really weep for my country, she has even done what men cannot do.This level of greed !!! Christ!

    • Bimbo

      January 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Ebi , I agree with you completely ! The level of greed is unimaginable. Had to calculate the money – it came to about 68 billion. What this amount of money would have done for infrastructure in the country ? I’ve come to the realisation that the top 1 % – the so called political and business elites have warped, vampire brains. They keep acquiring to the detriment of the remaining 99 % ! It’s really sad.

    • Iris

      January 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I was nodding to your comment until you said she has done what men cannot do. Theft is not about gender please and she should be judged as an alleged thieving politician, not an alleged thieving female politician.

  4. Agu

    January 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Buhari is low key fighting crime for real. The only problem he have the fall oil price that lead nigeria into resection.

  5. nnenne

    January 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Okay.
    We don’t want to hear that Buhari is borrowing money again.
    He has recovered more than enough to run the country.
    Unless these are media propaganda to keep Nigerians from complaining and asking questions.

  6. Nurse

    January 7, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    She is the face of greed for me anytime, not just because she stole from us but because this woman has never really known lack. Her background is privileged from father to husband, even if they ever got broke she was never poor and this is how you know that theft, taking advantage of public office has nothing to do with poor people being overwhelmed or trying to eradicate poverty for good. What on earth could have been this woman’s reason for siphoning so much money? Does she not have only two kids? Even if she has a 100 sef. Was she providing for a whole village? The blood in her veins need to be checked. She needs jail man. She is a detriment to the progress of women, cos when one woman does wrong other women become automatically guilty. I hope she gets punished.

  7. NG

    January 7, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Ok. Nigeria has thrived on corruption since formation. The various regions in Nigeria that have ruled this country before the little man from Otuoke took power mercilessly used resources from the Niger Delta to empower their people and create wide-tentacled industrialists in their various regions. Today, the richest man and woman in Nigeria are massively investing and developing their regions and symbiotically assisting each others regions too- not the Niger Delta and not the South South by the way- with source of wealth as oil money.
    The Niger Delta was left ruined ecologically while rapacious leaders looked the other way.

    The little man frm Otuoke could not even get the Petroleum Industry Bill that would have helped the direct impactees of oil exploration compensated because the lords and masters from the enjoying enclaves would not have it so. I recall the numerous times Deziani as oil minister tinkered with that bill in an attempt to pacify the North especially, all to no avail.

    What then happened? My conjecture; it became a case of we wey get the thing can also help ourselves to our thing wey others don chop tire but no wan belle full on and allow our own people share.

    So please, while the rogues of South South are regurgitating their loot, can we find a way for justice to be done to by widening the dragnet to catch all rogues?
    Not just a further impoverishing and incapacitating of the South South by ‘draining its swamp’ and leaving other regional swamps rich with loot from the region?

  8. DR KEVWE

    January 8, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Any update on her initially alleged ill health? Or was it just a fugazee

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