A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of $153 million allegedly linked to Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum.
Muslim Hassan, the presiding judge, delivered the ruling on Thursday, saying the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had evidence that the monies were proceeds of crime.
The EFCC had said the money was taken from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed inthree Nigerian banks.
Moses Awolusi, an EFCC investigator, had said two former group executive directors of finance and account at NNPC, B.O.N. Otti and Stanley Lawson, helped Alison-Madueke move the cash from NNPC.
Awolusi said out of the money, the EFCC had recovered the N23.4bn in draft and had registered it as an exhibit marked, EFCC 01.
Alison-Madueke has since denied that the money belongs to her.
In a statement issued last month, the former minister said the anti-graft agency did not have any evidence to buttress.
“I am deeply disturbed and bewildered by recent media reports claiming that by virtue of an order of the federal high court, I have forfeited to the federal government, the sum of $153.3m which I purportedly stole from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC,” she had said.
“This was never done. I wish to state that I cannot forfeit what was never mine. I do not know the basis on which the EFCC have chosen to say that I am the owner of these funds as no evidence was provided to me before the order was obtained and they have not in fact served me with the order or, any evidence since they obtained it.”
Despite her denial, the EFCC said it traced another mansion worth $37.5 billion to her in Banana Island, Lagos.
She is currently in the United Kingdom
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