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U.S seeking to recover $144m assets owned by Diezani, Aluko & Omokore

BellaNaija.com

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Diezani Alison-Madueke

A civil lawsuit filed by the U.S Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, is seeking to recover about $144m in assets – including a $50.9 million Manhattan apartment and an $80 million yacht, allegedly bought using money generated from a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to former Nigerian Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison-Madueke.

According to Reuters, the U.S DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative seeks the forfeiture of the proceeds of foreign corruption.

Court documents claim that the property are owned by Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore, Diezani’s associates, adding that the men bribed Diezani for lucrative oil contracts between their companies and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a state-owned oil company.

The oil swap contracts were a barter arrangement where Nigeria used middlemen to sell crude oil in exchange for refined products.

The contracts were mostly opaque and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi criticised the NNPC for not being properly structured, monitored and audited.

President Buhari cancelled the oil swap contracts in November 2015.

The lawsuit, which is seeking the forfeiture of both assets, claims that Aluko and Omokore laundered money through the US by purchasing the lavish assets. Aluko and Omokore were allegedly to have paid bribes to Diezani between 2011 and 2015.

Court documents claim Aluko and Omokore conspired to purchase millions of dollars in real estate in and around London for Diezani and her family members.

They were also accused of buying a total of four residential properties in and around London worth $11.45 million, and furnishing them with luxury items.

The $50.9 million penthouse, owned by Aluko, in the Billionaires’ Row building in New York has been foreclosed after failing to make mortgage payments.

Aluko acquired the 6,240-square-foot full floor penthouse in December 2014 under a shell company listed in public records as One57 Inc.

The $80m 65-meter yacht – Galactica Star- which hosted Beyonce’s 32nd birthday bash in 2013 is also owned by Aluko and a Luxembourg-based Bank Banque Havilland, from which the Aluko took a $35.3million mortgage, has listed the Galactica Star as collateral, after he failed to repay the mortgage which was due in 2015.

Court documents also reveal that Diezani warned Aluko of living a lavish lifestyle.

“If you want to hire a yacht, you lease it for two weeks or whatever. You don’t go and sink funds into it at this time when Nigerian oil and gas sector is under all kinds of watch,” Diezani allegedly said to Aluko in a recorded conversation.

The case was filed on Friday at a federal court in Houston.

11 Comments

  1. Bolaji

    July 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    You should have listened to Diezani.

    • Seriously

      July 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Diezani is not any better. She was just basically telling him don’t get caught and become a target. Not stop embezzling, stealing bcos Diezani is just as guilty.

  2. jena

    July 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    All this mention about money…….. I think am hungry

  3. Professor X

    July 16, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    So the US is seeking forfeiture of funds to whom? Nigeria had better file something and ask for those funds back.

    • Anon

      July 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      One of the most difficult countries to retrieve laundered money from. Nigh on impossible.

  4. Ijs

    July 16, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    All these while people can’t even eat in Nigerian villages and inner cities. Wickedness. Dieziani should be ashamed. You steal more than you and your 3 generations need and die with your name in the mud.

  5. bey

    July 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Nawa and omokore was busy hosting a lavish wedding for his son in Dubai ,buying Bentley abi rolls Royce for Porsha Williams, buying property for women at StJohns woods. All on Nigeria’s money.
    Kola and omokore were already rich before all this. But greed got the best of them.

    • Mama

      July 17, 2017 at 6:39 am

      You see am! After stealing money here, they will use it to go and create jobs in other societies. One can only imagine what the organizers of the wedding would have made. If you can”t resist stealing, at least spend stolen monies within our society so that it can trickle down to the poor, but mba! Let me see the next person that will come here to spew rubbish about Nigeria being too tacky for the wealthy to have their weddings. I wish it could be passed as law for politicians and their households.

  6. Victor Adegoke

    July 17, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Unless there is law that punishes Political office holders for stealing money, the trend will still continue.

  7. Yahoo

    July 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I was expecting a criminal case instead of a forfeiture case. Now i get the logic, the SAA agreement is the problem. lol. Both Kola and Jide are very smart business men, they took advantage of the corruption in government which the danjumas, alakijas, etc have exploited in the past. If i was in Kola’s predicament, i will get a very good attorney and invoke a case against the US government. The only person Kola is liable to is the Nigerian goverment in respect to the SAA deal. Sad thing is, that forfeiture money will become cost of prosecution money and the US takes all. The Nigerian ?? curse!.

  8. Van

    July 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Tags on this site are not working properly. Someone should fix that.

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