6 Other times ex-Minister has been linked with stolen money
Nigeria's former petroleum resources minister has just been called a thief by the EFCC. It wouldn't be the first time.
Diezani was in charge of Nigeria's oil industry between 2010-2015.
According to the prosecution, Diezani paid bribes to three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the 2015 presidential election, in a bid to swing victory the way of then President Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan would go on to lose that election.
According to the EFCC, Diezani handed out bribe money totaling N264M to Christian Nwosu, Yisa Olarenwaju and Tijani Bashir to get the results of the election fixed.
Nwosu pleaded guilty following his arraignment and has entered a plea bargain with the federal government.
Nwosu who allegedly received N30M of the bribe money, has returned N5M while also surrendering the title document of a landed property he purchased for N25M in Delta State.
Diezani was absent in court when charges were read against her.
The former minister is in the UK where reports say she’s battling cancer.
She’s the first minister from the Jonathan cabinet to be formally charged; amid widespread allegations of corruption levelled against several former officials of that administration.
However, this isn’t the first time Diezani’s name has been linked to corruption and grand larceny since she left the country, hot on the heels of Jonathan’s defeat at the ballot.
Below are a few other instances:
1. In October of 2015, $700M in raw cash was reportedly discovered in Diezani’s ritzy Abuja home.
Also among the finds on the property were expensive jewelry, diamonds and gold ornaments, according to sundry reports.
2. In February of 2017, a 15-storey, $37.5M property in highbrow Banana Island area of Lagos, was linked to Diezani.
An unnamed EFCC investigator had told The Nation at the time that “the property in 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.
3. In January, 2017, EFCC investigators disclosed to Pulse that Diezani allegedly disbursed N23B to Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) ahead of the 2015 general elections in a last ditch attempt to influence the presidential contest for Jonathan.
Investigators say the cash was wired to the RECs after the election. They were instructed to rewrite or alter some of the election figures, as their part of the deal.
INEC is investigating which of its electoral officers received what, from Diezani.
The electoral umpire has promised to recommend the sack of indicted officers to President Buhari after its internal committee is done reviewing the allegations.
4. On Friday, January 6, 2017, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ruled that a certain $153.3M allegedly stolen by a certain Diezani Alison-Madueke, be forfeited to the federal government.
According to investigators, four bank Managing Directors aided Diezani in siphoning the sum from the coffers of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
5. In January of 2016, the EFCC announced that it had seized a mansion worth N3.58B in the Asokoro area of Abuja.
The property allegedly belonged to Diezani.
Acting EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu said items found in the home included jewelry, furniture and a bulletproof gym worth some $2M.
Several property in Lagos, noticeably in the Sabo-Yaba area of the nation’s commercial capital, have also been traced to Diezani.
6. In 2014, then Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido, blew the lid on the disappearance of $20B from Nigeria’s crude oil account.
Without mentioning Diezani by name, Lamido aimed a finger at the NNPC—the oil behemoth that was at the time overseen by the former petroleum resources minister.
Diezani baulked as Lamido doubled down on his allegations.
President Jonathan took sides with his oil minister on national television.
Days later, the CBN Governor lost his job.
Lamido is currently the Emir of Kano.
Diezani has also been implicated in past illicit oil-swap deals worth millions of dollars.
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