UK government compounds Diezani’s woes

 

Barely days after a Federal High Court in Lagos confiscated properties worth N2.7bn from Nigeria’s former oil minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has frozen a £10million worth of London property allegedly belonging to the former minister.

National Daily gathered that two properties allegedly belonging to Alison-Madueke at Regents Park in London, along with one in Buckinghamshire, have now been frozen based on the request of Nigerian authorities.

A London court gave the frozen order in September 2016 but details of the rulings have only recently become public.

The agency was, however, reportedly too late in preventing a further two properties worth £8m from being sold.

In July, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed four properties it alleged were bought for the former petroleum minister by individuals and firms seeking her influence in obtaining lucrative oil asset and crude oil lifting contracts.

Some of the oil asset were assigned to people believed to be her cronies through controversial Strategic Alliance Agreements.

ALSO SEE: Diezani in fresh trouble: As EFCC digs deeper

The DoJ’s affidavit stated that businessmen Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko were involved in the purchase of two of the properties allegedly bought for Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

The UK order obtained by journalists at Africa Confidential has revealed that three of the properties have been frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Apart from Mrs. Alison-Madueke, Mr. Omokore and Mr. Aluko, the order also named three other individuals as defendants in the case, all of whom are believed to have received contracts or oil asset from the NNPC during the embattled minister’s tenure.

They include Aiteo’s Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Peters, a jeweler named Christopher Aire, and a lawyer named Donald Amamgbo. All received contracts from the NNPC. The order forbids the defendants from disposing of or dealing in the properties.

But although the NCA has frozen three properties worth £10 million, the agency was too late to prevent a further two properties worth £8 million from being sold.

One of these, a massive nine-bedroom house in London’s exclusive Hampstead Garden Suburb, bought by a BVI company in January 2011 for £5,850,000- was sold in May 2015.

Recall that apart from forfeiting cash running into billions of Nigeria, Diezani also forfeited properties in choice areas such as Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja through a court order.

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