UK to commence trial of Diezani Alison-Madueke, in June

It has been reported that the United Kingdom will commence
the trial of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke who was a former Minister of Petroleum
Resources and four others in London, in June 2017, over allegations of money
laundry and corruption.

The former Minister who has been in the UK since 2015, was
said to have hid some of the proceeds acquired through corruption while in
office in the UK.
Recall that on October 2, 2015, the National Crime Agency,
NCA, in UK, arrested Diezani and four others which includes her brothers, for
alleged money laundering and corruption.
The Nation reported that a source from EFCC says one of the four
suspects and Diezani’s hideout in UK was recently. The source also refuted the
claim that the anti-graft agency were secretly negating with her on how to
refund the proceeds.
According to the source: “The UK investigators have gone far
on the allegations against Diezani. From the records made available, the
ex-minister and four others will face trial as from June.

“We have taken more evidence to the UK, including all court
records relating to the final forfeiture of $153million. We have a huge pile of
documents. In fact, one of the suspects on the radar of investigators has been
located in London and he is under surveillance.”

On claims of a negotiation between the EFCC and the former
The source said: “There is no basis to negotiate with the
ex-Minister in view of the overwhelming evidence at our disposal. You should
ask yourself what purpose the negotiation will serve. The EFCC is set for the
trial of the ex-minister at home and abroad.

“It is curious to be talking of a curious negotiation with
someone who has a prima facie case to answer.

“The ex-minister has forfeited $153m; we have had
far-reaching investigation on her involvement in the $115m poll bribery
scandal; we have seized some of her choice properties and she has consistently
maintained that she is ready for trial. So, what is the basis for negotiation
when we have a good case?”
Messrs Abiye Agama and Somye Agama are Diezani’s siblings operating
some UK-based businesses but suddenly stopped operations after the NCA and the
EFCC investigations became strong.

The two of them are directors of Hadley Petroleum Solutions
Limited, a company the authorities believe was used for money laundering. The
other directors are Ugonna Madueke and Abu Fari.
According to EFCC records, some of the assets  linked with Mrs. Alison-Madueke are:
  •    A block of six
    units service apartments on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi
  •     Six units terrace
    flats in Yaba, Lagos Mainland
  •     Twin four-bedroom
    duplexes in Lekki Phase I
  •     Two duplexes on
    Banana Island
  •     A duplex in
    Asokoro District, Abuja
  •     A mini-estate in
    Mabushi, Abuja
  •     A set of 12
    terrace duplexes at Omaremi Street  in
    Port Harcourt
  •     Large expanse of land at Oniru, Victoria
    Island in Lagos
  •     A multi-billion
    Naira estate in Yenagoa
  •     Two apartments in
    Dubai marked as J5 Emirates Hills (30million Dirham) and  E146 Emirates Hills valued at 44million
  •     A hotel in Port
    Harcourt under investigation
  •     $37.5m mansion on
    Banana Island in Lagos.

But Alison-Madueke had maintained that some of the slush funds and
assets attributed to her including the
$153million, are personal property and will in no way steal from Nigerian government.
“I have up till now chosen to maintain my silence and not to
respond to inaccurate press reporting. However, given the level of deliberate
inaccuracies, I am now forced to respond because it is clear that the EFCC is
taking advantage of my silence to try me by media and to convict me in the eyes
of the public on false reports.

“First and foremost, whilst the reasons for my being out of
the country are public knowledge, the principle of fair hearing demands that I
should have been notified of formal charges if truly there was a prima facie
evidence or indictment against my person linking me with the said issue, so as
to ensure that I had adequate legal representation.

“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 has 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.

“I do not therefore, understand how the EFCC can in the same
breath say that the monies in question are mine. If they had evidence that the
monies were mine then they would not /should not, have used the procedure which
applies only to funds of unknown ownership. If indeed they used this particular
legal procedure because they did not know who owned the monies, then how can
they now be falsely attributing the ownership to me?

“Let me re-state categorically as I have always maintained,
for the record, I have not and will never steal money from or defraud the
Federal Government of Nigeria.  I am
willing to respond to any charges brought against me that follow duly laid down
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