EFCC Denies Negotiating with Diezani as UK Court Fixes Trial for June
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dismissed speculations in some quarters that the agency wasn’t negotiating with former Petroleum Resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is accused of sundry financial crimes.
The clarification by the anti-graft agency came as information emerged that a court in the United Kingdom has set a date in June for the trial of the former minister for money laundering.
A suspect similarly listed for prosecution and believed to have been in hiding in London was also said to have been found and now placed under surveillance.
An EFCC source is quoted by The Nation to have said: “The UK investigators have gone far on the allegations against Diezani. From the records made available, the ex-minister and four others will face trial as from June.
“We have taken more evidence to the UK, including all court records relating to the final forfeiture of $153million. We have a huge pile of documents.”
On the reported negotiation with the former minister, the source said: “There is no basis to negotiate with the ex-Minister in view of the overwhelming evidence at our disposal. You should ask yourself what purpose the negotiation will serve.
“The EFCC is set for the trial of the ex-minister at home and abroad. It is curious to be talking of a curious negotiation with someone who has a prima facie case to answer.
“The ex-minister has forfeited $153m; we have had far-reaching investigations on her involvement in the $115m poll bribery scandal; we have seized some of her choice properties and she has consistently maintained that she is ready for trial. So, what is the basis for negotiation when we have a good case?”
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) on October 2, 2015 arrested Mrs Alison-Madueke and four others for alleged bribery and corruption and money laundering. She was arrested with her brothers, Abiye Agama and Somye Agama.
Some of the property the EFCC claimed to have seized from the former minister include:
A block of six units service apartments on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi
Six units terrace flats in Yaba, Lagos Mainland
Twin four-bedroom duplexes in Lekki Phase I
Two duplexes on 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
$37.5m mansion on Banana Island in Lagos.
Mrs Alison-Madueke has however denied owning some of the assets attributed to her including the $153million.
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