The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has explained to the Federal High Court in Abuja how it uncovered about 19 houses allegedly bought by the immediate-past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduke, in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
It also explained that an Executive Director in First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Dauda Lawal, helped Diezani to transfer to the UK for the purchase of some real estate properties in London.
EFCC also said Benedict Peters whom it described as a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s contractor during Diezani’s reign as the petroleum minister, contributed $60m to the $115m allegedly provided by the ex-minister to bribe electoral officers for the 2015 general elections.
The Nigerian properties were said to be in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
The anti-graft agency also said Peters was a “suspect under investigation for Petroleum subsidy fraud” from whom $400m had been recovered.
EFCC says Peters is the “alter ego” or owner of two companies registered abroad – Collinwood Limited – Rosewood Investment Limited -, and a Nigerian company, Aiteo Energy Resources.
The anti-graft agency’s explanation gave these details in the papers which it filed in objection to some applications urging Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja to lift the interim forfeiture order hanging on some of the 19 properties in the UK and US.
Upon an ex parte application titled, ‘In the matter of 19 real properties purchased by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduke’, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on June 29, 2016 granted an order of interim forfeiture in respect of the properties.
But the trio of Peters and two of the companies said to be his, Collinwood Limited and Rosewood Investment Limited, filed a motion dated January 10, 2017, challenging the interim forfeiture order in respect of some of the properties in the UK and the US.
The applicants denied that some of the properties which the court ordered their interim forfeiture were theirs and not Diezani’s as alleged by the EFCC.
The properties interested in by the applicants included the ones at 5 Park View; 83 – 86 Prince Albert Road; St. John Wood, all in London NW8 7RU, UK; as well as 270-17 Street, Unit 4204, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.