Former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is preparing to seize assets and properties belonging to former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke in the United States over her involvement in the $10 billion slush funds fraud.
The Nation reports that the EFCC has initiated a process for the seizure of the assets in line with United States laws. This is coming as the EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu just returned from the United States where he discussed with the authorities how to attach the properties.
The report further stated that in the last one year, the EFCC has traced assets and items worth about $10billion to Mrs. Alison-Madueke and her business associates, Mr. Kola Aluko and Chief Jide Omokore.
Also, some of her other assets to be seized include an $18million peoperty (over N6.3billion at N350 exchange rate) in Abuja.
Giving further details, a top EFCC source told The Nation: “We have located some assets allegedly owned by Diezani and some of her business associates in the United States. We are already collaborating with the US Government to attach these assets.
“In fact, the EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, spent about one and a half weeks in the US to work with the relevant agencies to trace Diezani’s properties, some of which are believed to have been secured through business fronts like Kola Aluko.
“We have submitted relevant documents to the US authorities in order to facilitate the seizure of the assets.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “Some of these properties were acquired through some business fronts like Aluko and Omokore.
“We even have a in which houses on a street in Switzerland have been traced to an associate of Diezani.
“Don’t forget that the EFCC initially secured a Mareva Injunction from Justice O.O. Oguntoyinbo to freeze some foreign accounts and seize some assets linked with Diezani’s associates in the United Kingdom,” the source said.
Section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act 2004 empowers the Commission to freeze any account suspected of being used for financial crimes.
The section stipulates that “the chairman of the commission or any officer authorised by him may, if satisfied that the money in the account of a person is made through the commission of an offence under this Act or any enactment specified under Section 6(2) (a)-(f) of this Act, apply to the court ex parte for power to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other appropriate authority to freeze the account.”
Mrs Alison-Madueke has continued to maintain her innocence as she described allegations against her as “cold-hearted” and inhuman because she is ill.
“Coming at such a critical time in my life when I am battling cancer, this poorly executed propaganda bares on its face like tribal marks, a clearly malicious attempt to victimise an innocent woman in what appears an exaggerated plot to validate and give credibility to the anti-corruption crusade under Nigeria’s new regime.
“People who are battling cancer or those who have lost their loved ones to this medical condition understand what I am going through at this time.
“This is what makes me ponder at the cold-heartedness of those who will go any length to defame and destroy in the name of propaganda. What happened to our shared humanity?
”I have absolute regard for the law and believe that people who have breached the laws that govern societies should be made to face the wrath of the law.
“But in a civilized society, a responsible government owes its citizens absolute commitment to the principles of rule of law, equity, fairness and justice. I have been wrongfully and maliciously maligned and those behind this reckless action know it.
“I leave them to posterity, their conscience and above all the Almighty God who is the final judge of all.” she wrote in a statement.