Ex-oil minister loses homes
Lagos – A Nigerian court has ordered the permanent seizure of properties worth about $7 million (R94 million) from the country’s former oil minister, who is facing a slew of corruption claims.
Judge Abdulaziz Anka, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, ordered the forfeiture of properties in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
The houses and apartments, valued at 2.6 billion naira and bought through front companies, were linked to Diezani Alison-Madueke and her cousin, Donald Chidi Amamgbo.
Anti-corruption investigators found documents at Amamgbo’s office that he owned 18 companies and properties in Britain and the US, the court has heard.
He told Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the companies had been registered to hold property on Alison-Madueke’s behalf.
The 56-year-old, who was also the first female president of the oil cartel Opec, was arrested in London in October 2015, as part of a British police investigation into corruption. She is currently on bail. Last month, a court in south London ordered a freeze on five upmarket properties in the British capital linked to Alison-Madueke and a number of her associates.
In August, another Nigerian judge ordered the confiscation of Alison-Madueke’s $37 million luxury apartment complex in the upmarket Banana Island area of Lagos.
The previous month, the US authorities announced it would seize $144 million of assets belonging to associates of the former minister. Among them were an $80 million superyacht and a $50 million luxury apartment in New York, allegedly bought with the proceeds of suspect oil contracts awarded by Alison-Madueke.
The state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which Alison-Madueke oversaw, has been singled out for reform by the current government. –