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Court orders final forfeiture of N34bn linked to ex-Nigeria oil minister

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EFCC, DSS, Police to produce Alison-Madueke in 72 hours

A Federal High court sitting in Lagos on Thursday ordered the final forfeiture of $153,310,000, (about N34 billion), linked to the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Muslim Hassan, in his judgment, said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had successfully proved that the monies were proceeds from an illegal activity, that it was allegedly syphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed in three banks in the country.

NEWSVERGE reports in January 2017, the court had temporarily ordered the forfeiture of $153,310,000, which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueze, allegedly siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed in three banks in the country.

Out of the allegedly stolen $153.3m, a sum of N23,446, 300,000 was said to have been kept in Sterling Bank Plc, N9,080,000,000 in First Bank Plc and $5m in Access Bank Plc.

After ordering the temporary forfeiture of the monies to the Federal Government on Friday, Justice Muslim Hassan gave Sterling Bank and any other interested party 14 days to appear before him to prove the legitimacy of the monies, failing which the funds would be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge made the order in favour of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which appeared before him on Friday with an ex-parte application seeking the temporary forfeiture of the funds.

In a nine-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the ex-parte application, an EFCC investigator, Moses Awolusi, claimed that the anti-graft agency discovered through its investigations, how sometime in December 2014,the former Minister invited a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, to her office where they hatched the plan of how a cash sum of $153,310,000 would be moved from NNPC to Nnamdi Okonkwo to be saved for Diezani.

Biodun Abimbola

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.The Verge Communications (NEWSVERGE) is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.