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Diezani EFCC detectives in UK to aid $1.7b money laundering probe

The former minister is under investigation after it emerged that she had illegally awarded contracts worth $1.7 billion.

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Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke is currently on bail in London after being arrested in connection with a British probe into international corruption and money laundering play

Nigeria's former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke is currently on bail in London after being arrested in connection with a British probe into international corruption and money laundering

(AFP/File)
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has sent two detectives to the United Kingdom to help authorities collect more evidence against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The former minister is under investigation after it emerged that she had illegally awarded contracts worth $1.7 billion to two associates, Kolawole Aluko and Jide Omokore.

Some of the money laundered through the United States and which had been used to acquire assets are now the subject of a forfeiture bid by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

Omokore and Aluko used a series of shell companies and layered financial transactions to conceal the nature, location, source, and/or ownership of the proceeds of their illicit transactions.

The duo also purchased a total of four residential properties in and around London worth $11.45M.

ALSO READ: 20 things you should know about Diezani's latest looting allegation

According to The Nation, an EFCC source said, "You know the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States released the details of the underhand deals surrounding the oil contracts bordering on the implication of the ex-Minister and two associates - Chief Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko.

"What the DOJ released was just a fraction of corruption-related allegations against Mrs. Alison-Madueke. More revelations will soon be out from the EFCC and after the outcome of the investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK.

"The EFCC has gone far in probing the whereabouts of about $15.8billion NLNG dividends  between 2000 and 2014.

"In an audit report sent to EFCC by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), it was indicated that it is doubtful if the entire $15.8 billion due from 2000 to 2014 is still intact.

"The funds were neither paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation nor the Federation Account.

"Also, about $7.85 billion out of the dividends was allegedly withdrawn in 2011 under the guise of funding Brass LNG Project."

There are indications that the governments of the US, UK and Nigeria are pooling resources together in the investigation against the former minister who is reported to be at risk of losing more assests.

Another The Nation source said, "We are trying to verify these assets and they will soon be confiscated in line with Section 7 of the EFCC Act."

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