Ex-oil min­is­ter loses homes

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - WORLD -

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. –

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