Former Nigerian oil minister has properties forfeited amid corruption probe
Lagos — Two multi-million-dollar penthouses belonging to Nigeria’s former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke have been seized as part of corruption investigations.
On Tuesday, a judge at the Federal high court in Lagos ordered the apartments to be forfeited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission until the probe was concluded.
Alison-Madueke, who served under former president Goodluck Jonathan until 2015, is at the centre of money-laundering and bribery enquiries in several countries. She was arrested in London in October 2015 as part of a British investigation into international corruption, and remains on bail.
Alison-Madueke is one of the highest-profile figures from the former administration being targeted as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption drive.
Judge Mojisola Olatoregun was told the properties in question were in the Banana Island gated community and Admiralty Estate area of the city. They had a combined value of $4.76m. The commission investigation is looking to determine whether they were bought with the proceeds of crime.
Alison-Madueke has previously had several homes and apartments seized by court orders. In October, she lost properties in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt valued at 2.6 billion naira ($7.2m). They were bought through front companies linked to her and her cousin, Donald Chidi Amamgbo.
He has told the commission the companies had been registered to hold property on behalf of Alison-Madueke, who was the first female president of oil cartel Opec.
In August, a judge ordered the confiscation of Alison-Madueke’s $37m luxury apartment complex on Banana Island. In the latest case, Amamgbo is listed as a respondent with Alison-Madeueke and two companies said to own the luxury penthouses. Amamgbo owned one of the firms.
The court was told payments to buy the flats were made by Angela Jide-Jones and Atlantic Drilling Concept Ltd. Jide-Jones’s husband is Jide Omokore, a close associate of Alison-Madueke, who is facing investigations and asset seizures in Nigeria and the US. Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept is his company.
In September, a court in south London ordered a freeze on five upmarket properties in the British capital linked to Alison-Madueke. The former minister is listed as a defendant alongside Omokore, Kola Aluko, Amamgbo and another oil billionaire, Benedict Peters. The properties were held in the name of three companies, listed as third parties.