Court Orders Temporary Forfeiture of Banana Island Estate Allegedly Owned by Diezani
A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of an estate in Banana Island allegedly owned by Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum.
The court also ordered the temporary seizure of $3.7m in a Zenith bank account allegedly owned by the former minister.
The order followed an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking forfeiture of the assets.
Anselem Ozioko, the EFCC counsel who filed the application, alleged that the money used for the purchase of the property was laundered.
“Nothing could be more suspicious than someone keeping such huge amounts in her apartment. Why was she doing that? To avoid attention,” he told the court.
“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubts because, as of the time this happened, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke was still in public service as the minister of petroleum resources.”
After listening to his submission, Chuka Obiozor, the judge, gave a temporary order for the forfeiture of the property and the money to the government. He then adjourned till August 7 for anyone to a make case for the assets.
Last Friday, the US department of justice filed an application seeking the re-possession of assets valued at $144 million linked to Alison-Madueke.
The former minister allegedly received the assets as bribes from two businessmen – Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore – for the award of oil contracts.
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