More details have emerged regarding the yesterday’s order by the UK Westminster Magistrate’s Court to seize £27,000 from Nigeria’s former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
It should be noted that the seizure of £5,000 and $2,000 was also ordered from Diezani’s mother Beatrice Agama. As far as Melanie Spencer is concerned, the seized amount corresponded £10,000.
The National Crime Agency requested money seizure until April, 2016, which was in accordance with Section 295 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2012.
Vanguard has learned that the move was aimed at giving the agency evidence of Diezani’s involvement in corruption activities.
Sources from the British government disclosed that money seizure would speed up the trial opening against the the ex-minister who served under Goodluck Jonathan.
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) reads:
“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.”
Alison-Madueke was arrested alongside three other Nigerians in London on October 2. All were shortly released on bail. On the same day the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raided her Abuja house and according to some sources even recovered a big amount of money from it.
Talks on the matter continue, with some saying that other NNPC officials now might face arrest over corruption. As far as Nigerians are concerned, their opinions divided: some are glad that the anti-graft was has been launched on a large scale, the others think it is a case of pure witch-hunting by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidency in its comments on the issue said the federal government was attentively following the investigation and working closely with the UK’s law enforcement. Garba Shehu added:
“Nigerian authorities are saying for the first time that matters are being handled with seriousness and deep commitment. Nobody wants to give the impression that this government is frivolous and unserious.
“For this reason, government is only confirming active collaboration. Beyond this, we are not saying more. In due course, Nigerians will be briefed on updates as appropriate.”