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Court seizes 56 houses from Diezani as group demands for repatriation



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A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of 56 houses allegedly bought for $16,441,906 (N2.6 billion) by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

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

The EFCC, in documents filed in court, described the properties as including 29 terraced houses, 21 mixed housing units, six flats, six apartments, two maisonettes among others, in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

Ozioko told Justice Anka that Diezani paid $16,441,906 cash for the properties through several shell companies from the proceeds of suspected unlawful activities during her tenure as Nigeria’s petroleum minister.

The $16,441,906 was allegedly picked up from her house by bank officials via an undisclosed pick-up service.    

A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Say No Campaign Nigeria (SNC-Nigeria) has urged the Federal Government to immediately put mechanism in place for Alison-Madueke’s repatriation and prosecution for her alleged corruption charges including the illegal acquisition of property.

The groups while making the demand on Tuesday in Abuja also called for her speedy trial, as part of measures to ensuring sustained success of the government anti-corruption war.

Director of SNC-Nigeria Ezenwa Nwagwu, who read the position of the coalition said the former minister “has had a trail of overwhelmingly frightening and shocking records of corruption allegations and damning reports of abuse of office against her by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), of which she is yet to be questioned or indicted.”

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He expressed disappointment over the inability of the nation’s anti-graft agencies to arraign her despite the outrageous charges leveled against her by the EFCC.

“Unfortunately, two whole years into the administration that is reputed to have zero tolerance for corruption, it has only reported to have confiscated Diezani’s $115million and $37.5million property including the proceeds from rent with no effort to indict her. We called for the supports of the United States of America and the United Kingdom to accede to Nigeria’s request for Diezani Alison Madueke to face corruption charges in Nigeria,” Nwagwu said.

He also urged Nigerians to support the fight against corruption and join the movement that advocates for transparency, accountability and good governance in the interest of national development.

Other members of the coalition include Centre for Transparency and Accountability (CTA), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Protest to power (P2P), Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) and Youths Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA).