Court orders final forfeiture of N34B linked to Diezani
Posted by News Express | 16 February 2017 | 1,348 times
A Federal High court sitting in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of $153,310,000 linked to the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Justice Muslim Hassan, in a judgment delivered on Thursday said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had successfully proved that the monies were proceeds from an illegal activity, that it was allegedly siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed in three banks in the country.
The monies in question have been allegedly linked to Diezani.
In January 2017, the court had temporarily ordered the forfeiture of $153,310,000, which a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed in three banks in the country.
Out of the allegedly stolen $153.3m, a sum of N23,446,300,000 was said to have been kept in Sterling Bank Plc, N9,080,000,000 in First Bank Plc and $5m in Access Bank Plc.
After ordering the temporary forfeiture of the monies to the Federal Government on Friday, Justice Muslim Hassan gave Sterling Bank and any other interested party 14 days to appear before him to prove the legitimacy of the monies, failing which the funds would be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge made the order in favour of EFCC which appeared before him on Friday with an ex-parte application seeking the temporary forfeiture of the funds.
In a nine-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the ex-parte application, an EFCC investigator, Moses Awolusi, claimed that the anti-graft agency discovered through its investigations, how sometime in December 2014, the former Minister invited a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, to her office where they hatched the plan of how a cash sum of $153,310,000 would be moved from NNPC to Nnamdi Okonkwo to be saved for Diezani. (Channels TV)