Tag Archives: Diezani

Diezani’s crime: Ex Kebbi Gov, Dakingari’s trial stalled

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The trial of former governor of Kebbi State, Usman Saidu Dakingari was on Monday stalled due to the absence of his counsel, A.A. Awomolo (SAN) and the counsel to the second defendant, O.A. Dada.

Prosecution witness, Olabode Omolola was also absent in court due to the subsisting lockdown.

At the last adjourned date, the matter was stalled due to the absence of the second defendant and it was subsequently adjourned to Monday, June 29, 2020 for continuation of trial.

However, at the resumed hearing on Monday, prosecution counsel informed the court that at the last hearing of the matter, PW 4 testified and concluded evidence in chief but did not conclude his cross examination.

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Prosecution counsel, Mohammed Gambo, informed the court that his witness, PW4 could not appear in court on Monday because of the lockdown as he is currently in Ibadan.

Counsel representing the third defendant A.A. Fingilla, who also represents the first and second defendants, informed the court that the counsels for the second and third defendants were also affected by the lockdown as they both reside in Abuja and Lagos respectively.

Dakingari is standing trial alongside two others, Sunday Dogonyaro and Garba Rabiu Kamba for allegedly receiving the sum of N450 million from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison Madueke for the purpose of influencing the 2015 general election.

Justice S.B. Onu adjourned the matter to October 8, 2020 for continuation of trial.


#Newsworthy…

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News+: Diezani finds her way – Will not be Extradited. | Reason

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Former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke is reportedly evading extradition to Nigeria as she is now a citizen of Dominican Republic, thereby securing immunity from prosecution.

Diezani who is wanted by the EFCC in connection with an alleged N23.29billion poll bribery scam is wanted to account for N47.2 billion; $487.5million; N23,446,300,000 and $5milion (about N1.5billion) in various Nigerian banks.

It’s difficult to extradite Diezani – She’s now Dominican Republic citizen
Top among her assets, either placed on permanent or temporary forfeiture, is the $37.5million Banana Island property.

She is also expected to account for alleged spending of $6.9 million to buy three 40-feet mobile stages for use during mass public speaking events.

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But despite judgments and rulings by some Nigerian courts, the EFCC is said to be facing an uphill task to extradite the ex-Minister since her interrogation by the International Corruption Unit (ICU) of NCA on October 2, 2015.

The NCA is yet to disclose the four other suspects who were arrested and quizzed with the ex-Minister.

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Investigation however revealed that her case, including extradition process, is getting complicated after laying claim to citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Diezani was issued a diplomatic passport, DP0000445 by the Dominican Government on May 21.2015 shortly before the handover to President Muhammadu Buhari by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Her citizenship was confirmed by a May 29, 2015 approval letter by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Kerry.

She was also appointed as a Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Dominica.

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The Prime Minister’s letter to Diezani reads in part

“I am pleased to confirm your appointment as Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Dominica.

“Please note that this posting does not attract a remunerative package. In that respect, I am particularly encouraged by your willingness to serve.

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“The appointment of a Trade and Investment Commissioner is consistent with my Government’s declared intention to have a permanent and active presence in the global business and financial sector operations. We believe that Dominica can benefit immeasurably from your illustrious record and profession success, and knowledge of investments and business operations.

“As Trade and Investment Commissioner, your scope of operation would revolve around the direct promotion and marketing of Dominica as a trade and investment domicile, as well as an emerging and unique tourist destination in the Caribbean.

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“I encourage you playing an active role in the coordination of road shows and trade and investment expositions, as well as providing facilitator services to businessmen interested in investing or doing business with the Caribbean region. Dominica is ideally placed and equipped to serve as the perfect hub for such commercial activities in this region.

“Additionally, we would wish for you also to avail yourself and be of assistance to any Dominican citizen who may be keen on exploring business, trading or investment relations with the region or who may otherwise need assistance in the event of any distress.”

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A top source, who spoke in confidence, said:

“Diezani is fully taking advantage of the system in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Dominica where she is a citizen.

“We cannot successfully repatriate her without the involvement of the two countries. She has really set hurdles against her extradition. While the National Crime Agency (NCA) claimed that it is still investigating our allegations against Diezani, the Commonwealth of Dominica has not shown any interest in the return of her citizen to Nigeria.

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“What we have done so far is to present a comprehensive report of our findings to the NCA.”

Responding to a question, the source added:

“As it is now, Diezani has dual citizenship and the UK Government would have to consult with all the affected countries.

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“The prospect of extraditing Diezani is cumbersome. There had been issues on the actual treaty upon which she can be extradited. Yet she cannot be tried in foreign jurisdiction.”

The Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu in February said: “I was in London this year, we did investigation together with the United Kingdom team, and anywhere I go I always call for the extradition of corrupt Nigerians to return back the money.

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“This woman stole so much, not less than $2.5 billion. But unfortunately, she has a generation of looters who are supporting her. This is not good.

“We are in touch with the international community, she is under protective custody, otherwise, we would have arrested her and return her to Nigeria.”


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian Govt demand Former President, Jonathan’s bank statement, 2 others.

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The Nigerian Government has requested for the account statements of former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Patience, Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources and Rilwanu Lukman, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reports that the banks told to provide the bank details of Jonathan and others include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and New York branches of Deutsche Bank AG and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Nigeria is requesting “all documents concerning any transactions to, from, or for the benefit” of Jonathan and his wife between 2009 and the present day.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was quoted by court documents as saying that information contained in the document will help an ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to know individuals in the Process & Industrial Developments Ltd gas deal.

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Although Malami didn’t mention Jonathan as a subject of the EFCC probe, the former head of state appears alongside the ex-ministers in Nigeria’s proposed subpoenas.

“There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria,” Attorney General Abubakar Malami said in court filings submitted on March 24.

He said P&ID had no ability or intention of ever performing the contract, which required the company to build a gas processing plant and the government to supply gas.

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Lorna Schofield, a US district judge, gave Nigeria permission to send copies of its application to the banks, eight of which had been served by April 15. However, the court has not decided whether to give Nigeria access to the documents.

In the court filings, Nigeria said the EFCC has not found direct evidence that the public officers received payments from P&ID or its affiliates.

It said the 10 banks are “likely to have processed US dollar transactions connected to P&ID’s operations as either correspondent banks or the New York branches of foreign lenders”.

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Nigeria hopes to overturn a $9.7 billion judgement awarded against it for a breach of agreement in a gas project.

A spokesman for P&ID said Malami’s application is “nothing but an absurdly overbroad fishing expedition” arguing that the AGF manufactured a claim of fraud and bribery to avoid paying the judgement debt that amounts to about 30% of the country’s foreign reserves..


#Newsworthy…

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Fraud refunds from Diezani, others to fund Lagos-ibadan expressway, and ..


The Nigerian Government says it will finance the construction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge with the funds recovered from former military Head of State, Sani Abacha, James Ibori, Diezani Allison-Madueke, and Kola Aluko among others.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said this after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.


Malami said the government was ready to repatriate an additional $321m (N116.04bn) looted by the late former military Head of State.

He said the MoU expected to be signed next week would also cover assets or funds recovered from James Ibori, Diezani Allison-Madueke, and Kola Aluko among others.


He said, “It is in line with that spirit of aggressive recovery of looted assets that the office of attorney general has been pursuing the recovery of looted assets. We have overtime been discussing with other jurisdictions including the Island of Jersey and the United States among the purpose of the repatriation of looted assets connected to the Abacha family, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Kolawole Aluko among others.

“It is within this context that we have now come to terms with this jurisdiction – the Island of Jersey, United States of America and indeed Nigeria by way of negotiating for the repatriation of sizable assets. “As it is, we have concluded on the understanding that the sum of $321m will be repatriated in due course inclusive of James Ibori assets as well.


“So, we are hopeful that by next week, we will sign the agreement for the looted assets. The assets that are going to be repatriated are located and in the custody of the Island of Jersey. But the United States of America came on board because it has obtained an order for forfeiture against the assets, considering that the medium of exchange used in the looting the assets is the US dollar. Arising from that, the three jurisdictions will naturally be factored into the repatriation processes.

“So, the amount upon signing the MoU will be remitted from the Inland of Jersey within a number of days agreed upon. Within 28 days, the money will be repatriated from the Island of Jersey to the United States of America. And thereafter within 45 days, it is agreed by the parties that the United States of America will make the necessary arrangement for the eventual repatriation to the Nigerian state.


“This is where we are. The council has looked into the negotiated MoU that is expected to be signed that will now lay the foundation for the eventual repatriation of the money. The council has graciously approved the execution of the agreement. The council instructed the attorney general of the federation to be a signatory to that MoU in preparation of the repatriation of the funds.”

When asked about the figure of the amount to be repatriated attached to each individual mentioned, Malami said, “The immediate figure for repatriation as relates to the agreement expected to be signed next week is $321m. The $321m expected to be repatriated is attached to Abacha and is named Abacha loot.

“As it relates to James Ibori, the expected amount is €6,863,977.12. But the repatriation of the same is being negotiated and processed.”

On the sharing agreement, the minister said, “America and the Island of Jersey are simply entitled to administrative cost, associated with the management of funds. So, $10m was indeed what was earmarked to the two countries and the balance of $321m is coming to Nigeria.”


#Newsworthy…

Court sentence two INEC officials to prison.

…Diezani’s bribe

…N362Mn

A Yola High Court, presided over by Justice Nathan Musa, has sentenced two officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to 21 years imprisonment each for receiving N362 million bribe from former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, during 2015 general election.

NobleReporters culled that the convicts, Ibrahim Mohammed and Sahabo Iya-Hamman, were arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside Maduekwe (still on the run), under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Musa averred that going by testimonies from 15 witnesses who appeared before the court and the suspects’ responses, it was clear that they were guilty of the offence.

The judge noted that although N362 million was received by the officials, they only shared five per cent of the money to other workers of the commission, leaving the balance unaccounted for.

He said following plea by their counsel, they were sentenced to seven years each on each of the three count charges, adding that the sentence will run concurrently.

The judge also urged Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Adamu to liaise with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) to arrest the third respondent (Alison-Maduekwe) so she can face her charges.

#Newsworthy…

14 count charge dropped against Diezani; EFCC called to come clean on status of charges against her, others.

The dust raised over the alleged withdrawal of criminal charges against a former Minister of Petroleum Resource, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is yet to settle as a pressure group, Northern Youths in Defence of Democracy and Justice (NYDDJ), has jumped into the fray, dismissing denials by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the charges have not been dropped but split.

Diezani and four others are under indictment by the anti-graft agency for money laundering and other related financial crimes.

Alison-Madueke’s four co-defendants in the case are former Executive Director of First Bank, Mr Dauda Lawal, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the former Executive Director of Sterling Bank, Lanre Adesanya and the former Group Executive Director of NNPC, Stanley Lawson.

It was however reported in the media recently that the Commission had dropped the original 14-count charge against them.

In a statement at the weekend, the NYDDJ criticised the anti-graft agency over the sensational reports and advised it to retrace its steps and go back to the spirit of the EFCC (Establishment) Act.

It would be recalled that after the media last week reported that the EFCC had withdrawn a 14-count money laundering charge against the former Petroleum Minister and four others at a federal high court sitting in Lagos, the anti-graft agency had quickly issued a rebuttal, urging the public to ignore the reports, calling the news false and misleading.

In a series of tweets on its verified Twitter account, the EFCC had explained that it never dropped charges against the former Minister, but split them to allow for a fresh arraignment.

It explained that the only development in the case was that the Commission took a prosecutorial decision to split the initial 14-count charge to enable separate arraignment of defendants following a spate of adjournments that prevented arraignment of the defendants more than one year after the case was listed.

“The charges were first filed on November 28, 2018. Since then, every attempt to arraign the defendants had been frustrated by one excuse or the other,” the Commission explained.

“In more than four times that the matter was called for arraignment, it was either Lanre Adesanya was sick, bedridden in a London Hospital or Nnamdi Okonkwo was hypertensive and on admission in a hospital or Stanley Lawson had had a domestic accident and could not appear in court.”

Responding to the development, however, the NYDDJ, which says it has been following developments in criminal proceedings against prominent Nigerians in the last four years, said that the EFCC was not being truthful.

A statement by Abba Yahaya on behalf of the group said:

“Following the controversy trailing the present status of the case in question, we are constrained to issue this public statement as patriotic Nigerians committed to the Nigerian project, who believe that institutions like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which are funded by taxpayers and are supposed to be answerable to Nigerian citizens, need to be transparent and honest about their actions.

“From our findings, we make bold to say that the rebuttal by the EFCC is a deliberate effort to distort the facts and mislead Nigerians as to the event that happened in open court and which was widely reported by several news media.

“For instance, in the rebuttal, the EFCC laboured to explain that it never withdrew charges against all the accused persons but that it took a prosecutorial decision to split the charges. Whereas, the truth is that the EFCC withdrew the charge containing all the original names of the defendants and filed an amended charge retaining only the name of Dauda Lawal.

“It is elementary that you cannot file an amended charge in court without withdrawing the old charge. It is also elementary that as soon as the court is seized of the amended charge, the old charge becomes non-existent in the face of the law.

“If EFCC still claims that the charges against Diezani, Okonkwo, Lawson, Adesanya and Mr. Otti are still in place, we ask them to show us the charge sheet.

“Again, in its statement, the EFCC claimed that its decision to withdraw against all the other co-accused and retain only Mr. Lawal on the amended charge sheet, was a prosecutorial decision taken in open court, following a spate of adjournments occasioned by non-appearance of one or two of the defendants each time the matter came up which prevented arraignment of the defendants more than one year after the case was listed.

“However, we wish to note that contrary to the Agency’s claim, all the accused persons including the discharged persons were in Court on the last two Court dates of 24th May, 2019 and 5th November, 2019, yet no pleas were taken from them, rather, the agency, suo motu, withdrew the charge and substituted it with an amended charge against Lawal.

“From the foregoing, we state that the claim by the EFCC that in more than four times that the matter was called for arraignment, it was either Lanre Adesanya was sick, bedridden in a London Hospital or Nnamdi Okonkwo was hypertensive and on admission or Stanley Lawson had had domestic accident and could not appear in court is a story for new-born babies.

“From all indications, we make bold to say that the litigative history of this case has shown that EFCC ab initio never had the intention to charge any of the discharged accused persons to Court, rather its sole intention from the start was to harass Mr. Dauda Lawal, bring his name into disrepute and seize his hard earned assets from over 30 years work in the private sector (reaching the rank of Executive Director, in Nigeria’s largest bank) for reasons best known to them.

“We are therefore demanding that EFCC should retrace its steps and go back to the spirit of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, where the organization was envisaged to be one that will be run devoid of sentiments and personal considerations in fighting financial crime.

“It is our humble advice that witch-hunting, selective prosecution, cherry picking accused persons and preferential treatment of suspects, will only further confirm the widely held view that EFCC has derailed from its initial mandate.

“As for Mr. Dauda Lawal, he is a model and mentor for Northern youths and we are confident that he is innocent of the charges brought against him and that in no time he will be vindicated.

“For the general public, we wish to state that we will continue to monitor developments in this case and put out the correct information at all times,” the statement concluded.

#Newsworthy..

I told my wife not to bring money home – Madueke Diezani’s Husband Said.

A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, lost her ability to speak and subsequently fell into a coma due to the complications of the cancer she had, her husband has said.

Diezani’s husband, Rear Admiral Alison Madueke (retd.), said this in his recently published book titled, ‘Riding the Storms with God on My Side’.

Madueke, who is a former Chief of Naval Staff, said towards the end of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015, Diezani was diagnosed with cancer and had to be flown to London for treatment.

He said, “On Sunday, July 26, 2015, I stepped into my bedroom soon after our brunch to find that my phone was ringing. It was my mother-in-law, Mrs. Beatrice Agama, who was staying with Diezani while she was undertaking treatment. She was sobbing and only managed to inform me that my wife was no longer talking.

“I was in London by 5.30am the following day, Monday, and went straight to see her. Diezani was in a coma. I called an ambulance that arrived 20 minutes later, the attendants bearing a stretcher. They had to get a wheelchair since the lift could not take the stretcher.

“In less than 10 minutes, we were at the emergency intensive care unit of the Harley Street Clinic. Her doctor, Prof. Paul Ellis, a top oncologist, was out of town and had to be recalled.

“Three days later, when Diezani finally came out of the coma, she saw me by her bedside and asked what I was doing in London. She had reacted badly to her Friday chemotherapy treatment. Thank God she pulled through that nightmarish incident and is now fully recovered.”

The retired naval officer said unfortunately, while his wife was severely ill, her condition became an issue of politics.

Earlier in the book, Madueke said when Diezani accepted a ministerial appointment in 2007, he told her not to focus on money but maintain the good name of the family.

Madueke, who served as military governor of Imo and Anambra states in the 1980s, said he initially did not want his wife to take public office having only become the first female director of Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria and had a great career.

The former naval officer said, “When finally she was appointed Minister of Transportation, I took further time to advise her on the topic of self protection and self preservation in the bureaucracy.

“I finally recited the advice my father had given me upon my appointment as military governor. “Go do your best, don’t bring back money, but bring back my name”

“Later in that administration, she was appointed Minister of Petroleum Resources, a position she held until the Peoples Democratic Party lost the 2015 Presidential election.”

On how his wife was appointed a minister, Madueke said shortly before the inauguration of President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, he was approached by the then Vice-President-elect, Goodluck Jonathan.

Madueke said Jonathan pleaded with him to allow Diezani to take up a job as minister as there were very few persons of Bayelsa origin who had her impressive resumé.

#Newsworthy…

EFCC: Controversy on Diezani Alison-Madueke’s Fraud Allegation…

There is a raging controversy over the correct status of a 14-count charge preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, and four others before the Lagos division of the Federal High Court.

Others charged alongside the former minister are former Executive Director of First Bank, Mr. Dauda Lawal, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the former Executive Director of Sterling Bank, Lanre Adesanya, and the former Group Executive Director of NNPC, Stanley Lawson.

They were alleged to have engaged in a conspiracy deal to conceal US$153 million in Fidelity Bank.

However, there were reports that when the case resumed for hearing before Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court Lagos on November 5, 2019, the EFCC, through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, dropped the corruption charges against almost all the accused persons through an amended four-count charge with the exception of Lawal.

The report said that the EFCC had come to court on the said date with an amended four-count charge in the case retaining only the name of former Executive Director of First Bank, Mr. Dauda Lawal and withdrew the old composite charge, which had Diezani and four others as defendants.

Reacting yesterday through a statement, the EFCC confirmed that the old charge containing all the five names was, indeed, withdrawn and substituted with a four-count charge, which retained Lawal’s name, but that the decision was never an intention to drop the charge against Diezani and others.

In a series of tweets on its verified social media handle yesterday, the anti-graft agency explained that it never dropped charges against the former minister but split them to allow for a fresh arraignment of Alison-Madueke.

The tweets read: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to reports currently circulating in the social media purporting that the Commission had dropped the criminal charges against a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other persons indicted for money laundering.

‘The Commission enjoins members of the public to disregard the report which is false and misleading. At no time did the commission withdraw the charge, which is still before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

“The only development was that the Commission took a prosecutorial decision to split the initial 14-count charge to enable separate arraignment of defendants following a spate of adjournments that prevented arraignment of the defendants more than one year after the case was listed.

“The charges were first filed on November 28, 2018. Since then, every attempt to arraign the defendants had been frustrated by one excuse or the other.

‘In more than four times that the matter was called for arraignment, it was either Lanre Adesanya was sick, bedridden in a London Hospital or Nnamdi Okonkwo was hypertensive and on admission in a hospital or Stanley Lawson had had a domestic accident and could not appear in court.

“It was clear that these recurring excuses were ploys to frustrate the arraignment.

“To get around this, the Commission took a deliberate decision, which was disclosed in open court, to separately prosecute the defendants in different courts.

“This explains why the four-count amended charge brought against Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank, did not include other defendants, except the two who are at large ( Diezani Alison-Madueke and Ben Otti).”

#Newsworthy…