Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Former Minister for Petroleum Resources

Court orders trial of ex-Nigerian Minister for alleged money laundering

*Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, ex-Minister for Petroleum Resources, to appear for prosecution to answer 13 counts of suspected money laundering involving $39.7m, N3.32bn

*EFCC requests her to speak on several recovered items, documents, jewellery, properties in Nigeria, UK, US, UAE, South Africa

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For alleged money laundering charges Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has preferred against her, a Federal High Court in Abuja, FCT, has ordered Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister for Petroleum Resources, to appear before it for prosecution.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu issued the order in a ruling on an ex parte application shortly after Mr. Faruk Abdullah, lawyer to the anti-graft agency, moved for it, reports Channels TV.

The judge ordered the defendant, purportedly escaped to the United Kingdom (UK) after leaving office in 2015, to appear in court to answer 13 counts of money laundering involving $39.7m and N3.32bn said to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

In her ruling, Justice Ojukwu ordered that the court summons be published on the Web site of the EFCC and a national daily in a conspicuous manner.

The judge adjourned the case till October 28 for the defendant’s arraignment.

The anti-corruption agency, in its application, was said to have stated it had made futile efforts at questioning the former Minister on her role in the award of Strategic Alliance Agreement to Septa Energy Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, stated the report.

The EFCC as well sought to question Mrs. Alison-Madueke on her role in “the chartering of private jets by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Ministry of Petroleum Resources and her role in the award of contracts by NNPC to Marine and Logistics Services Limited.”

Report further said the anti-corruption agency was investigating her business relationships with Mr. Donald Amamgbo, Mr. lgho Sanomi, Mr. Afam Nwokedi, Chief lkpea Leemon, Miss Olatimbo Bukola Ayinde, Mr. Benedict Peters, Christopher Aire, Harcourt Adukeh, Julian Osula, Dauda Lawal, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Mr. Leno Laithan, Sahara Energy Group and Midwestern Oil Limited.

It needed to question her on “her role in financing the 2015 general elections, particularly the money that were warehoused at Fidelity Bank Plc in 20015 prior to the elections,” stated the agency.

According to the EFCC, the former Minister needs to speak on several items, documents and jewellery recovered from her house at No: 10 Chiluba Close, Off Jose Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and some identified properties that are linked to her in Nigeria, UK, United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirate (UAE) and South Africa.

IT is recalled that agency November 11, 2018, had filed the 13 counts of money laundering, accusing Diezani of unlawfully taking into her possession sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn when she reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.

She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.

In September 2013, she allegedly used the name of Rusimpex Limited to acquire a property named Block B3 comprising six penthouses and 18 flats at Zone N Federal Government Layout, also known as Bella Vista Estate, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, with the sum of $37.5million.

On June 4, 2012, she was said to have used the name of Azinga Meados Limited to buy 13 three-bedroom terrace houses with one room maids’ quarters at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Abuja, with the sum of N650million.

In May 2012, she allegedly used the name of Chapel Properties to buy eight four-bedroom terrace houses, two three-bedroom penthouses, six three-bedroom apartments, two three-bedrooms Mansionette , two two-bedroom apartments, one four-bedroom apartment at No. 4/6 Thorbun Avenue, and No 5 Raymond Street, Yaba, Lagos, with N937million.

In May 2012, the former Minister reportedly purchased in the name of Blue Nile Estate Limited, 16 four-bedroom terrace houses, at Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with N928million.

Likewise in January 2011, she was said to have bought in the name of Vista Point Company Limited, six flats of three-bedrooms with one boys’ quarters each, lawn tennis court, Gym, garden and appurtenances, at 135, Awolowo Road/Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, with N805million.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke was said to have purchased in the name of Sequoyah Properties Limited a property at 12, Forces Avenue, Old GRA, Port Harcourt measuring 4,890 square meters with $2.2million in December 2011.

According to the EFCC, her alleged offences said to have been committed between November 20, 2011, and September 2013 were contrary to Section 15(2), (d) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

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