A former minister for Petroleum, Diezani Madueke, has had her N7.6bn loot forfeited by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
This was after the court granted an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking the money’s final forfeiture to the Federal Government.
The judge, Justice Abdulazeez Anka, made the pronouncement saying; “I have read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7.6 billion reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity. “I have also gone through the affidavit in support of the application. In the circumstances, I am of the view that the application has merit and is hereby granted as prayed. Parties have a right of appeal.”
EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo had in moving the application said that the money was part of “huge sums of cash” allegedly diverted by Alison-Madueke from the various subsidiaries of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Oyedepo added that the anti-graft organization had also published an advertorial as required after the initial temporary forfeiture of the loot, but no one came forward to claim ownership.
Adding to the claim of the EFCC, an affidavit by an EFCC investigator, Mr Usman Zakari, stated that the N7.6billion was allegedly looted through former Group Managing Director, Crude Oil Marketing Department, Gbenga Olu Komolafe, former Group Managing Director, Petroleum Products Management Company, PPMC, Prince Haruna Momoh and some bank chiefs.
Zakari also claimed that Mrs. Alison-Madueke called a bank chief to her office for a meeting where he was informed that some money will be arriving at him bank via some officials of her ministry and that the “funds must neither be credited into any known account nor captured in any transactional platforms of the bank”.