UK’s Crime Agency Confiscates £27,000 From Deziani; To Stand Trial With Brothers
Contrary to reports making rounds yesterday that the former minister of Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke was arraigned yesterday, it was however learnt she wasn’t in the court to begin her trials and has not been charged with any offence.
However, it was gathered she will be arraigned in London with her brothers, Abiye Agama and Somye Agama for alleged bribery and money laundering.
They are directors of Hadley Petroleum Solutions Limited, a company the authorities believe to have been used for money laundering. The other directors are Ugonna Madueke and Abu Fari which was registered in June 2013 in Manchester, but was dissolved less than two years later in February this year without filing any account.
Abiye, 33, is a computer engineer and manager. He was a director in 11 other companies. He resigned from seven of them.
The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) last week arrested Mrs Alison-Madueke and five others as part of the investigation into allegations of bribery and money laundering. They were granted bail.
It could not be ascertained why the former minister was not arraigned.But she had previously denied any wrongdoing when it was alleged that $20 billon of oil money had gone missing when she was in office between 2010 and 2015
However, a London (Westminster Magistrate’s Court) on Marylebone Road yesterday approved the seizure of $41,000 (£27,000) cash from her.
The seizure of the cash followed an application brought by the NCA under the Proceeds of Crime Act in the UK.
An administrative officer stated that the NCA had applied to the court for an order to seize various sums of money in relation to Alison-Madueke and the two women for up to six months.
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to curb corruption, saying “mind-boggling” sums were stolen during the Jonathan administration.
The NCA leads UK law enforcement’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. It has national and international reach and the mandate and powers to work in partnership with other law enforcement organisations to bring the full weight of the law to bear on serious and organised criminals.
The Proceeds of Crime Act says “The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”) sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power.
“Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place. Other means of recovering the proceeds of crime which do not require a conviction are provided for in the Act, namely civil recovery, cash seizure and taxation powers.
“The aim of the asset recovery schemes in POCA is to deny criminals the use of their assets, recover the proceeds of crime and disrupt and deter criminality.
“Since 2010, more than £746 million of criminal assets has been seized (to 2013/14) across all four methods of recovery – a record amount.
“Over the same period, assets worth more than £2.5 billion have been frozen denying criminals access to these resources and £93 million has been returned to victims,” said a factsheet.
Deziani, a former senior staff at Shell in Nigeria, had served as Petroleum Minister from 2011-2015 under President Goodluck Jonathan. Before then, she had served as Minister in the Transport and Solid Minerals Ministries.