Judge Orders Final Forfeiture Of N34bn Linked To Diezani

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday ordered former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Alison-Madueke to permanently forfeit the sum of $153m, allegedly diverted from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the federal government.

The order of permanent forfeiture of the said sum followed a similar order of interim forfeiture given by the presiding judge, Justice Muslim Hassan, on January 6.

Yesterday’s order was the “final forfeiture order” on the amount.

Justice Hassan had before handing down the order lauded the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for presenting a good argument, stressing that the monies were proceeds of illegal activity.

According to Moses Awolusi, EFCC investigator, the plot on how the diverted $153,310,000 would be moved from NNPC was hatched in December 2014 when Alison-Madueke invited a former Managing Director of a bank to her office.

The EFCC, in a nine-paragraphs affidavit in support of the ex-parte application seeking temporary forfeiture of the funds, also revealed that the former minister allegedly instructed the bank MD to ensure that the money was “neither credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms” of the bank.

The said MD allegedly accepted and implemented the instruction leading to the movement of the money to the bank.

Awolusi also submitted that two former Group Executive Directors of Finance and Account of NNPC, B.O.N. Otti and Stanley Lawson, allegedly colluded with the ex-minister to perpetrate the offence.

He stated that, out of the $113,310,000 given to Adesanya, a sum of $108,310,000 was invested in an off balance sheet investment using Sterling Asset Management Trustees Limited.

The dollars, Awolusi said, were later changed to naira, amounting to N23,446, 300,000, which was saved in Sterling Bank.

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