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N23bn Diezani Bribe: EFCC Declares Billionaire Businessman Wanted

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja May 27, 2010.Nigeria's state power company will pay energy companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil more for their gas to encourage investment and boost supply capacity, the oil minister said on Thursday.REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY)
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A Nigerian billionaire has been declared wanted by the anti-graft agency over massive fraud in the oil and gas sector.

Diezani Alison-Madueke
Mr. Benedict Peters – a Nigerian billionaire businessman and Managing Director of Aiteo Group has been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over a bogus fraud in the tune of $115m (N23bn).
According to reports, the fund has given to the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke as bribe.
The bribe was given to influence the outcome of the 2015 election results, according to the Punch.

The EFCC said in an official gazette signed by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that Peters was wanted for criminal conspiracy, diversion of funds and money laundering.

The notice read in part, “Dark-complexioned Peters is wanted in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy , diversion of funds and money laundering. He hails from Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. His last known address is 8B Agodogba Avenue, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.”

Peters is alleged to have given Diezani about $60m during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

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The EFCC had alleged that the MD of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, helped Diezani convert $115m to N23bn after which it was disbursed to INEC officials.

Some of the money was said to have emanated from some oil companies including Northern Belt Gas Company Limited which allegedly gave $60m to Fidelity Bank on behalf of Diezani.

An EFCC source told a correspondent that Peters was the person behind Northern Belt Gas Company Limited.

The source said, “We have launched investigations into the companies that gave Diezani money in form of kickbacks. About $60m came from Northern Belt Gas Company Limited. We have not been able to ascertain the directors of the company. However, we found out that Mr. Benedict Peters is the sole signatory to the account at Fidelity Bank.

“All attempts to get him have proved abortive. We currently do not know where he is and he is hardly ever in one place because he has a private jet.”


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