Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of Diezani’s $37m Banana Island Mansion, Cash




A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of a property at Banana Island, Lagos bought for $37.5m in 2013 by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Chuka Obiozor, a vacation judge, made the order Wednesday following an ex parte application by a counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Anselem Ozioko.

The EFCC, in documents filed in court, described the property as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, has 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.

The court also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84, 537,840.70, said to be part of the rent collected on the property.

The funds were said to have been found in a Zenith Bank account numbered 1013612486.

Ozioko had told the judge that the EFCC reasonably suspected that the property was acquired with proceeds of Diezani’s alleged unlawful activities.

He said the EFCC’s investigation revealed that Diezani made the $37.5m payment for the purchase of the property in cash, adding that the money was moved straight from her house in Abuja and paid into the selller’s First Bank account in Abuja.

Ozioko added:
“Nothing could be more suspicious than someone keeping such huge amounts in her apartment. Why was she doing that? To avoid attention.
“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt because as of the time this happened, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke was still in public service as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.”

The Nation


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