Monday, 25 September 2017
Items filtered by date: February 2017

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reopened a 12-year-old $1 million fraud case against Lagos lawyer and socialite Fred Ajudua.
The EFCC first instituted the suit against Ajudua in 2005 before Justice Morenikeji Obadina of an Ikeja high court.

The matter was however struck out in 2009 after Ajudua jumped bail and failed to appear in court on 24 occasions.
In the charge filed on February 9, 2005, the EFCC alleged that Ajudua and Joseph Ochunor sometimes in 1993 conspired to defraud one Ziad Abu Zalaf of Technical International Limited based in Germany.

The commission alleged that Ajudua and co-defendant at various times collected an aggregate sum of $1,043,000 from the German businessman under the guise of financing a fictitious contract awarded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission (NNPC).

During the pendency of the suit spanning four years before Justice Obadina, Ajudua failed to appear for trial.
The development forced the court to issue a warrant for his arrest sequel to which the matter was struck out in 2009 by Justice Obadina due to failure of the anti-graft agency to produce the defendants.

When Ajudua resurfaced in 2013, the EFCC formally applied to the Lagos State Chief Judge to relist the matter and  was  re-assigned to Justice Josephine Oyefeso.

When the matter came up yesterday before Justice Oyefeso, EFCC counsel, Mr.  S. A. Atteh, informed the court that the commission had on January 25, 2017 filed a motion seeking to reopen the case.

But counsel to Ajudua, Mr. Morrison Quakers (SAN) informed the court that his client has already filed a preliminary objection against the motion filed by the EFCC.

The matter, however, could not proceed as the court refused to grant the request of EFCC counsel to respond to Ajudua’s preliminary objection orally.

 

 
Published in News & Stories
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 01:17

KODUGA: ICPC recovers N8.7b from bank, others

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM...THE CLASSIFIEDS ADS WEBSITE: The Chairman of the  Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, yesterday confirmed the recovery of N8, 705, 750, 426.15 from Infrastructure Bank and other five sources in 2016. He said of the funds about N6billion was frozen in the bank alone.
He also said the commission received 1,569 petitions last year, filed 70 cases and secured 11 convictions.

Nta, who made the disclosures at news conference in Abuja, said about 303 criminal cases were still ongoing. He said: “In 2016, we were able to recover N8, 705, 750, 426.15 including about N6billion which was frozen in Infrastructure Bank. Also, out of the total amount, N668 593, 621. 60 was refunded  to Kano State from SURE-P funds; we have about N292, 013, 150.64 in TSA and N1, 694, 397, 275. 51 pension monies paid to Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) beneficiaries and others.

“The recoveries include N20, 890,000 for NSITF Multi-purpose Cooperative Society and the balance of recovery is for extorted students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and other victims.

“About 124 vehicles were recovered under the SURE-P Programme last year. We have handed over 40 of the vehicles, which we retrieved from some directors,  to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on January 26. Part of what we are doing is  to escalate the recovery process this year.
“Also, 42 fake corps members in full uniform were all picked up here in Abuja. We have to bring their parents for ‘graduation’ in Abuja before we released them.

“We want to appeal to Ministries Departments and Agencies(MDAs) to be careful because these fake corps members no longer go to NYSC camps again to avoid being caught. They now post themselves to MDAs.

Nta, who gave update on the petitions sent to ICPC in 2016, claimed that North-Central(including the Federal Capital Territory)   topped the chart with 782 .
The breakdown of petitions from other geopolitical zones is as follows: Southwest(295); Southsouth(201); Northwest(118);  Southeast (106); Northeast (62); the United Kingdom(4) and the United States(1).

Asked of what has become of the alleged investigation of some  governors, Nta  said he was shocked to be reading stories with some figures ascribed to ICPC.

“We saw some media reporting that we had completed the investigation of 30 governors in the past. We also wake up to read reports about ourselves quoting sources.

“Section 64 of the Corrupt Practices Act does not allow the publishing of those facts until we are in court. It is in the court you draw such inferences.
“Of recent, a medium reported that we have placed all Permanent Secretaries on watch-list by quoting sources. Yet, the medium said the story was from ICPC.

Nta explained why ICPC had been focusing on preventive measures. He said: “While the full weight of the law must be brought against corrupt persons, it is crucial that in addition, anti-corruption efforts be focused on prevention through systems reform and reduction of opportunity for corruption.

“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission  (ICPC) in fulfillment of its mandate at Section 6(b-d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, vigorously pursues systems reform to deliberately and consciously  shut the door against illicit activities.

“We not only identify corruption-prone processes, practices and procedures in government agencies but work with them to institutionalize corruption-free processes and enforce compliance. There are ongoing collaborations to strengthen the ethical tone of Ministries, Departments and Agencies through Anti-corruption and Transparency  Units (ACTUs).”

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: A Federal High Court in Abuja heard yesterday how a former Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Mohammed Dikko Umar, allegedly splashed N2.38 billion on five choice houses in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna.

The court was also told that Umar, who was COAS between October 2010 and September 2012, directed the payment of N558.2million to himself monthly as upkeep allowances outside his legitimate earnings as an officer of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

A former Director of Finance and Accounts at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau (retd.), who disclosed this, said he believed that the funds Umar deployed to acquiring the five houses were from the N558.2m he got monthly.

Yushau, who gave details of how the houses were bought by Umar, using different names, spoke as the first prosecution witness at the trial of Umar, who is facing a seven-count charge of money laundering. Umar, in the charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is accused of diverting United States dollars’ equivalent of N4.8b.

Led in evidence by lead prosecution lawyer Sylvanus Tahir, Yushau, who said he participated in the purchase of the houses upon instructions from Umar, said the former COAS spent about N140m to renovate two of the houses.

Dressed in white native attire like Umar, who sat directly opposite him at the other end of the courtroom, Yushau, who said Umar facilitated his appointment as the Director of Finance and Account, testified for about two and half hours.

As the witness spoke, Umar, who kept a straight face, occasionally stared at him, particularly when he (the witness) tried to describe all that transpired.
Throughout his testimony, Yushau kept referring to the defendant as “my boss, the then Chief of Air Staff”. Tahir insisted that he (Yushau) refer to Umar as the defendant to avoid ambiguity in identification.

The witness said although he had indicated his intention to quit, Umar, who was so impressed with his performance, insisted that he served his (Umar’s) successor, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

The witness said: “NAF was receiving about N4b monthly (a little above N4b, about N4.1b). However, the actual figure that we usually paid as salaries monthly was between N2.3 to N2.4b. The balance of about N1.6b was made.

“From this N1.6b, the sum of N558,200,000 was usually set aside for the upkeep of the Chief of Air Staff. The sum of N120m was also earmarked for the office of the Director of Finance and Accounts. But on assumption, I told the Chief of Air Staff that my office did not require that amount of money.
“So, the sum of N120m was put under the Chief of Air Staff’s office, which he was using for visits to NAF formations and other welfare issues. The balance of about N1b was used for training, maintenance of NAF assets, fleet, and other priority projects. These projects included barracks construction, renovation of barracks accommodation for officers and men, and any other projects that the Chief of Air Staff may wish to undertake.

“This sum of N558,200,000 was usually converted to USD and taken to him at home. The money was usually brought to me by the Finance Officer, Headquarters NAF Camp, Group Captain Bukar.

“On some occasions, I asked the Finance Officer to accompany me to his (COAS’) official residence at Niger Barracks, so that he could witness the delivery of the money to the Chief of Air Staff. This practice lasted up till his retirement in Sept. 2012.
“I believe he was using the money for whatever he wanted to do. However, there were some properties which he purchased and I believe the money could be from the money we usually gave to him,” the witness said.

On how the houses were purchased, Yushau said: “Sometime between November 2010 and January 2011, my boss, the Chief of Air Staff, the defendant, called me and asked me to get somebody, who could find a house for him around Maitama, where he intended to settle down after his retirement.
“I got a brother of mine, Barrister Husseini Umar, of Capital Law Firm, and told him what my boss wanted. After a couple of days, he came back to me and told me he had found a house at Vistula Close, off Panama Street Abuja. I went and inspected the place with him, and I informed the defendant that the lawyer had located a very nice house.

“It was a five-bedroom duplex, with a guest’s chalet, a swimming pool and two-bedroom boys’ quarter attached to the house. My boss, the defendant, asked me to arrange for inspection. Barrister Husseini Umar gave us a time in the evening and I went and picked the defendant. We went to the property where we met Barrister Umar in the evening. Because there was no light, I went with a torchlight.

“The defendant saw the house and was happy with it and gave the go-ahead to Barrister Umar to negotiate the purchase of the house. The price of the house was then agreed at N700m. The defendant authorised the purchase and asked me to take the money from the money we normally give to him monthly. And I then directed the Finance Officer at the Hqts, Group Captain Bukar, to give the lawyer the equivalent of N700m which was given to the lawyer in USD.

“The defendant gave me the name on which the deed of assignment should be prepared. That name was Mohammed Maijamaa. I gave the name to Barrister Umar. After they completed the documentation of the purchase, the deed of assignment and power of attorney were brought to me for onward transmission to the defendant,” Yushau said.

On the second house, he said the defendant called him sometime in early 2012 and told him to get him another property in Asokoro, because he (Umar) was tired of living in Maitama.

He said through the efforts of Barrister Umar, a property at Plot 1853 Deng Xiao Ping Street, off Mahima Mohammed Street Asokoro was secured for the defendant, which he bought at N850m.

“This is a property of duplex of about 6 bedrooms, an underground hall, BQ, a gym, swimming pool, and two-bed room guest’s chalet. Just like the previous house at Maitama, he also gave me the same name, Mohammed Maijamaa, for the preparation of the power of attorney and deed of assignment.

“Thereafter, Barrister Umar brought the title deed, the power of attorney and deed of assignment to me for onward transmission to my boss the defendant. After that, he said he wanted a mosque to be constructed, the fence to be redesigned, and the swimming pool to reduce the depth because of children.
“So one Architect Saka was invited to carry out the job. The price was agreed at N66m and my boss, the defendant, gave the go-ahead for the payment to be effected. That was the end of that transaction,” he said.

“On the third house, the witness said the defendant, sometime in 2011, directed him to scout for a house for him to buy in Kano, so that when he visits his home state, as the COAS, he will not need to rent accommodation.

“So, I went to Kano, and through a friend by name, Jubril Shuaibu Ala, we got an agent who helped us scout for a house. That was how House No 14 Audu Bako Way, Kano was purchased. The house was a seven- bedroom duplex with an enclosed swimming pool, about three living rooms, a study, a lawn tennis court, and a squash court and also I think a two-bedroom boy’s quarters.

“The house belonged to one Sudanese by name Mustapha. I inspected the House, and came back to Abuja to brief my boss, the defendant. During our next visit to Kano, we went with him to the house at night. He (Umar) inspected the house and met the owner and had some discussions with him.
“Subsequently, the amount was agreed at N250m. The defendant, after returning to Abuja, gave me the money to pay in USD. I called Jubril Shuaibu Ala, who facilitated the transaction, to come to Abuja and collect the money.

“I gave him the amount as agreed in USD. And he went and effected the payment. I cannot remember the actual name he gave for the preparation of the title deeds, but all the documents were given to me and I handed over to the defendant,” the witness said.
Yushau said he also assisted Umar to buy No 8, Kabala Road, Kaduna from a former Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Air Vice Marshal Sunday Ali Leks.

He said the last house was the one the defendant bought at Plot 3B, Street 2, Ministers Hill, Mabushi, Abuja at N500m.
The witness said he got the house from a colleague, Group Captain Bukar, which he later gave the defendant to occupy when he was to vacate his official residence and his Asokoro house was not ready.

“At that time, we could not get any property that we could let for one year. So, I remembered this house at Mabushi. I met my boss, the defendant, and asked him if they could manage that place at Mabushi. I explained to him how I came about the place.

“He told me to tell my wife to pick his wife and show her the place. His wife was happy with the place when she saw it. That was how they moved into the house to enable the new Chief of Air Staff move into the official residence. They were living there up to the time I was retired on 31/12/13.
“Sometime early 2014, he told me that it was time for them to give me my house but I felt there was no way I could move into a house that was occupied by a former Chief of Air Staff. I told his brother, Abdullahi Mahmoud Gaya now a House of Representatives member, that there was no way I was going to stay in the house. So if they move I would have to sell the place.

“He (Gaya) went and discussed with his brother, my boss the defendant. And sequel to their discussion, it was agreed that my boss, the defendant. should pay me N500m for the house. I told Bukar of the development and gave him the reason for taking the decision.
“I subsequently collected from my boss the USD equivalent of N500m from his house, and I used part of the money to repurchase my No 8, Embu Street, Wuse 2 from Bukar, who was at that time in the UK. That was how the transaction ended,” Yushau said.

When the proceedings began, Tahir gave the prosecution’s opening statement, pursuant to the provision of Section 300 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), during which he presented a picture of the prosecution’s case against the defendant and how it intended to lead evidence to prove its case.

When Yushau ended his testimony, defence lawyer Hassan Liman (SAN) sought a short adjournment for him to cross-examine the witness. Tahir did not oppose this. Justice Nmandi Dimgba adjourned the hearing till February 16 for continuation of trial.

Published in Headliners
Sunday, 12 February 2017 17:13

234NAIRA: I am not a thief, says. Ibori

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori, has said he had been wrongly accused and maligned by those who said he stole, saying “I am not a thief, I cannot be a thief”.

Chief Ibori also said the biggest pain he felt over his travails was the suffering his people had to go through on account of his absence.

Speaking at a special thanksgiving service organised in his honour by his immediate community; the Oghara Kingdom, and held at the First Baptist
Church, Oghara, Chief Ibori also said his only testimony and joy now is the fact that he is alive and back to be with his people.

According to the former governor, who exhibited his overwhelming joy by dazzling the huge crowd of politicians, clergy, traditional rulers and
other enthusiasts who had graced the event, with dances, he had deduced that the intents of those who were behind his travails was to
separate him from his people.

He, however said he had no doubt that he would return home as he had put everything on God and believed that the God he trusted would stand by him.

“Today I have decided to speak for myself, I am not a thief, I cannot be a thief. Today is the day they say I should give testimony to God, for those

that know me, you know that my entire life is a testimony itself and I have said it over and over again that my life is fashioned by God, directed by
God, sealed, acknowledged, blessed by God and I believe that since the day I was born.

“Like the Arch Bishop said, when this whole commotion started, what was most painful to me was the pain and suffering that my people were going
through.

“It has nothing to do with me as a person because for some reasons like I said to you, I drew my strength from God and somehow, I knew that God would
stand by me, I knew that one day, and this day would come. I am indeed very please that I can now stand before you and look at your faces, faces that I
have missed and those of you that have indeed suffered the pains of my absence. It has nothing to do with me.

“So, when I reflect, it gives me joy that all your prayers, God has answered, all your supports and solidarity with me all through this period,
it is indeed not what I can begin to say. Like what our former chief of staff, Francis Agboroh said it is “ungbikuable”. If I am to give testimony
of my journey you will not leave here. The only testimony that I have is the fact that I am back and alive in your midst. And again I say that I
never had any doubt in my mind that I would get back home.

“When I looked at how things were going, I discovered that they want to separate me from you people. They want me to go to the corner where I won’t
be seen. That’s how I see it. At a point I called my elder brother (Former Governor Uduaghan) it is how I can get home is what I am about to do now.
It was a pragmatic decision.

“I am happy to be home with my people. There is nobody that can battle with the Lord. Urhobo adage says there is time for everything (okemutie). A day
will come when I will tell my story and every one of you will hear me. Today is to thank God”, Ibori said.

 
Published in Parliament

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: A Nigerian, Babs Rasaki,  based in Brazil, has appeared before Magistrate Judy Latchman in Guyana to answer to fraud related charges. The man was remanded to prison.  

Rasaki denied the charge which alleged that on January 9 and 13, at Georgetown and with intent to defraud, he obtained from the Lucky Dollar store one washing machine, a television set and other articles valued at Guyanese $582,495( $2794 US), by virtue of an American Express credit card, in the name of Ann Clara Angelino, knowing same to be forged. ADVERTISING Babs Rasaki: remanded in prison for fraud.

The second charge read that the accused, on January 10 at Wellington Street, Georgetown, and with intent to defraud, obtained from Gizmos and Gadgets two iPhones, valued $550,000, ($2638 US)by virtue of an American Express credit card in the name of Ann Clara Angelino, knowing same to be forged. Rasaki, who was unrepresented, told the court that on the days in question, he had accompanied Angelino, who is of Brazilian descent and does not speak English, to the business enterprises and made the purchases on her behalf.

Bail was refused on the grounds that he does not have family in Guyana or a local address in the jurisdiction. Police are also currently conducting an investigation with regards to the other documents found in his possession. The man will face Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on February 16.


Published in Parliament

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: The Federal Government said it recovered another 151 million dollars and N8 billion looted funds from three sources through whistle-blowers.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos.

Mohammed sad actionable information given by whistle-blowers to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation led to the recovery of the looted fund.

He said the looted funds do not include the 9.2 million dollars in cash allegedly owned
by a former Group Managing Director of the NNPC, also a dividend of the whistle-blower policy.

“The biggest amount of 136.7 million dollars was recovered from an account in
a commercial bank, where the money was kept under an apparently fake
account name.

“This was followed by N7 billion and 15 million dollars from another person and N1 billion from yet another,” he said.

The minister reiterated the position of government that there was a primitive and mindless looting of the national treasury under the last administration.

He said the whistle-blower policy has started yielding fruit, few months after its adoption by the government.

“The whistle-blower policy is barely two months old and Nigerians have started feeling its impact, how a few people squirrelled away public funds.

It is doubtful if any economy in the world will not feel the impact of such mind-boggling looting of the treasury as was experienced in Nigeria.

”Yet whatever has been recovered so far, including the 9.2 million dollars by the EFCC, is just a tip of the iceberg,” he said.

The minister appealed to Nigerians with useful information on looted funds to continue to provide the authorities with such information, saying confidentiality will be maintained with regards to the source of the
information.

He also reminded Nigerians of the financial reward aspect of the policy.

”If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistle blower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent (Minimum) and 5.0 per cent (Maximum) of the total amount recovered,” he said. (NAN)

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Oghara, the home town of former Delta state governor, Chief James Ibori,was again host to the creme of Delta state political, traditional and clerical fields on Sunday as the Oghara community held a special thanksgiving service for the former governor.

The church service, which was held at the First Baptist Church, Oghara, was organised by the community to thankGod for the release of Iborifrom a United Kingdom prison, where he had served almost five years after conviction for money laundry charges.

The service had many political associates and followers of the former governor present. Among those at the event were the immediate
past governor of the state, who is also a cousin of Ibori, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Festus Ovie-Agas,
Senators Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Patric Osakwe and Ighoyota Amori.

Others were members of the Delta state executive and legislative arms of government, including the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Hon
Monday Igbuya and daughter of Chief Ibori, who is a member of the legislature; Erhiateake Ibori. Traditional rulers present included the Ovie
of Oghara Kingdom, Noble Eshemitan and the Pere of Akegbene-Mein Kingdom, Pere Kalanama VII.

Some artistes who graced the church service were Ras Kimono, Orits Wiliki and Ras Father.

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has recovered 1.3 kilograms of fine quality Colombian cocaine stashed in 90 capsules from the stomach of a Nigerian , who had come to Delhi from Lome, Togo.

According to The Times of India, the accused was taken to hospital where an X-ray confirmed the presence of foreign bodies in his stomach. He was kept in the hospital for two days during which he expelled 90 capsules containing 1.3kg cocaine.

The Nigerian was identified as Monday Tony Okonkwo. He arrived IGI airport in an Ethiopian Airlines plane on February 6.

“When we conducted a thorough search of his body and baggage, he denied having any drugs or banned substance with him. However, the NCB team got suspicious when he said that he had come to India regarding his business of wigs and hair, but was found travelling on a tourist visa,” said Rajender Pal Singh, deputy director general, NCB 

Tony was taken to Safdarjung hospital where an X-ray confirmed the presence of foreign bodies in his stomach. During interrogation, the man revealed that he had ingested the drug capsules at a guesthouse in Lagos.

“The accused said he took around three hours to ingest the capsules and then took a flight to Lome. He then travelled to Addis Ababa from where he boarded a flight to New Delhi. His passport has corroborated the claims,” Singh said.

Monday Tony Okonkwo was supposed to deliver the drugs to another distributor who would have contacted him once his Indian number was active. “We are on the lookout for his handlers based in India and Nigeria,” Singh added.

NCB believes the cartel is being run by a group based in Peru or Bolivia and is the same one that had employed a Brazilian woman earlier to carry the contraband in swallowed packs.

The consignments were first taken to Sao Paolo, Brazil and then distributed throughout west African countries through carriers. The drug was brought to India via Ethiopia or Abu Dhabi.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Kenya’s Abraham Kiptom has emerged the winner of the 2107 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon,

in a time of 2 hours 15mins 20 secs.he takes home the cash prize of $50,000.

Kiptom  has won the 42.1km race for the second time after he won the maiden edition
in a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 29 seconds.

Ronny Kiptotech Kiboss  of Kenya ran a time 2 hours  15mins, 25seconds to take the second position . Kiprrotic Kiroi also of Kenya placed 3rd in a time

of 2 hours 15mins and 28 seconds. In the female category , Tanui Rodah ran a time of 2 hours 37 mins and 50 seconds to emerge the overall winner of the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. Fridah Lodep came second with a time of 2 hours 38 secs and 21 mins while Alice Timbili’s time 2 hours 39 mins 02 seconds got her the third place.

Meanwhile,Eliya Pam is first Nigerian runner to cross the finish line. 

While Fadeke Olode is the first Nigerian female to finish the marathon race

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is linking a new $37.5m property  to  former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The exquisite  15-storey building which is  located on the highbrow Banana Island in Lagos is the latest on the list of choice  properties said to have been acquired by the ex-minister with alleged stolen public funds.

It is an 18 flat edifice.

A reliable EFCC  source said yesterday that the ownership of the building was discovered this week in the course of  the investigation of the former minister.

The source said: “The property Building 3, Block B, is a 15 storey edifice comprising 18 flats and 6 penthouses, Bella Vista at Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Layout, Foreshore Estate, Off Onikoyi Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

“The property was acquired by the former minister between 2011 and 2012 at a total cost of $37,500,000USD from the developers, YF Construction Development and Real Estate.

“It was acquired in the name of a Shell company, Rusimpex Limited under the control of a  certain Mr. Afamefuna Nwokedi in Lagos.

“The investigation continues.”

The  EFCC source said the agency might  seize the property.

His words: “We will do this after the completion of investigation and obtaining of all title documents.”

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part : “The Court may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

(2)          Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just.”

Properties which EFCC records show as belonging to Mrs.Alison-Madueke are:

  • A block of 6 unit service apartments at Awolowo Road, Ikoyi

*Six unit terrace flats in Yaba, Lagos

  • Twin four-bedroom duplexes in Lekki Phase I
  • Two duplexes in Banana Island
  • A duplex in Asokoro. District, Abuja
  • A mini-estate in Mabushi, Abuja
  • A set of 12 terrace duplexes at Omaremi Street  in Port Harcourt
  • Large expanse of land at Oniru, Victoria Island in Lagos

* A multi-billion Naira estate in Yenagoa

* Two apartments in Dubai marked as J5 Emirates Hills (30million Dirham) and  E146 Emirates Hills valued at 44million Dirham

* A hotel in Port Harcourt under investigation.

 The former minister in a January 21 2017 lengthy statement in London denied being a thief.

She accused the EFCC of  taking advantage of her silence all this while to put her on media trial and cited the   $153million which she was accused of withdrawing from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC) while in office.

  She said that as the petroleum minister, the operation and management of NNPC finances were “outside my purview as outlined in both the Petroleum Act and the NNPC Act.”

She added:”The only involvement I had in NNPC finances was in terms of statutory matters, where the Petroleum Act prescribed that as Minister, there were certain duties or actions which I had to perform or take in relation to NNPC.”

On the alleged $700million found in her house and some mansions traced to her, Diezani accused EFCC of witch-hunt,saying: “On the 13th of June 2016, the EFCC once again took their well-trodden path to the media. This time claiming  that they had ‘discovered’ a mansion in Asokoro, Abuja, worth $18million  (approx. N9billion) which they purported to belong to me. The EFCC went to the extent of bringing in Aljazeera, an international TV station, to air a damaging documentary against me in this regard, showing a particular residential building in Asokoro, Abuja, which they told Aljazeera belonged to me

“The EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu, personally took the Aljazeera reporter to the building, alleging that it belonged to me. It has since become apparent that the house belongs to a company owned by Mr Kola Aluko.

“If this is not a witch-hunt or a personal vendetta against me, how is it that one of our country’s premier investigative agencies were unable to avail themselves of facts that are freely available in the public domain.

“Since the EFCC claims that the alleged $18million Asokoro property belongs to me, then they should kindly produce the ‘Authentic’ Certificate of Occupancy and Land Registry information and any other relevant information, as proof of my ownership of the property.

“On the 9th November 2016, the EFCC visited our family home in Yenagoa (Bayelsa State) as pre-agreed and they were escorted around the premises. I was therefore completely shocked to once again see my name sensationally splashed across the front pages of newspapers and widely circulated on the internet, with blaring headlines such as “EFCC UNCOVERS DIEZANI’S MULTI-BILLION NAIRA ESTATE” – Nation Newspaper, January 8, 2017 (Annex- 4A). There was absolutely nothing ‘Hidden’ or ‘Concealed’ about the home.

“I had declared it openly as required by Law, in my Asset declaration forms (Annex-4B). Yet the EFCC have announced that they ‘Just Discovered’ my ‘Hidden Estate’! And labelled it a ‘Multi-Billion Naira Estate’! Even though they had been given the Bill of Quantities, showing actual amount spent.

“It is an accepted tradition across the length and breadth of Nigeria, for people to own country/village homes. Given the size of the land and the location of the compound, the buildings thereon cannot by any stretch of the imagination be a “Multi-Billion Naira” palatial estate, as the news mongers would want to portray.”

 

 
Published in Business and Economy
Page 3 of 5

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