The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have reportedly seized some houses in Abuja worth N4.8 billion allegedly belonging to former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dieziani Alison-Madueke. According to the Nation, one of the mansion’s seized is worth N3.58 billion.
Meanwhile operatives of the antigraft agency are said to have been deployed to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to investigate the ownership of five choice houses believed to be owned by Alison-Madueke’s. The properties under surveillance in Port Harcourt are said to be worth over N3billion.
A top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence said:
“Based on latest intelligence, we have been able to trace more choice assets to Mrs. Alison-Madueke in Port Harcourt. We have drafted more operatives in Rivers State. We have identified more than five of such assets but we need to verify the ownership by going through some documents before attaching the properties in line with our mandate. In the next one week, our team in Port Harcourt would have completed their assignment. We will then release the value of the assets. We are also on the trail of some accomplices who were used for the property deals.”
The source added
“We are still working in collaboration with NCA in the UK. I think we are getting closer to the final leg of the Mrs. Alison-Madueke probe.”
One of the seized properties which is worth N500million is believed to be at Frederick Chiluba Close in Asokoro District in Abuja. The asset is now placed under interim forfeiture until the court decides otherwise,” he added.
Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke the Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.
“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’
Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The sourt may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.
‘Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just.”
The NCA in the UK arrested and quizzed the former Minister and four others on October 2nd last year for alleged bribery and corruption and money laundering. Also the EFCC has interrogated three to five more suspects since the interrogation of Mrs. Alison-Madueke by the NCA. The NCA last year obtained permission from a Westminster Magistrate’s Court to seize 27,000 pounds from Mrs. Alison-Madueke and two other women.