N48 Billion Diezani Loot To Be Forfeited

By Ikenga Chronicles January 7, 2017

President Muhammadu Buhari, on behalf of the Federal Government is set to receive a whopping sum of N48.136 billion from  former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

This came as a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the embattled former minister is to forfeit the sum of $153,310,000 to the Federal government.

Three banks have been ordered by Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court Lagos, to hand over the money–N48.136 billion at exchange rate of N314 to the dollar– to the Federal Government.

The funds were allegedly looted and stashed in the banks.

According to the court ruling, the money which the former minister is accused of having siphoned from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) will be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government pending its prove of legitimacy or otherwise.

This was as Justice Hassan, gave the banks and any other interested party 14 days to appear before it to prove the legitimacy of the monies. If they fail to prove its legitimacy, then the funds would be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Sterling Bank has in its custody from the $153.3m a sum of N23, 446, 300,000, First Bank Plc N9, 080,000,000 while Access Bank has $5 million (N1.8 billion).

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) had on Friday appeared before the court with an ex parte application praying the court for temporary forfeiture of the funds.

An EFCC investigator, Moses Awolusi, had in a nine-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, argued that the anti-graft agency learnt through its investigations how sometime in December 2014 Diezani invited a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, to her office where they hatched the plan of how the sum of $153,310,000 in cash would be moved from NNPC to Okonkwo to be saved for Diezani.

Awolusi went further to state that Diezani instructed Okonkwo to make sure that the money was neither credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms of Fidelity Bank.

The presiding judge, Justice Hassan after listening to the application, ruled that the money be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government pending prove of its legitimacy or otherwise.

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