The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is to confiscate a mansion allegedly owned by Kola Aluko in Dubai, 48 hours after the US Department of Justice disclosed details of how part of the $1.5 billion oil production contracts funds were laundered.
Two houses belonging to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, will also be forfeited. She was incriminated by the US officials as one of the recipients of the laundered cash.
According to a report, about five luxury properties have also been tracked down to a former official of the inoperative Oceanic Bank. All the properties have been determined and registered for forfeiture with the UAE officials.
Nigeria has signed six agreements with the UAE on January 19, 2016 after the state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The agreements signed included Judicial Agreements on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters, and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters.
A source disclosed that all the suspicious assets had been discovered in Jumeirah, the most expensive and exclusive area in Dubai.
“The EFCC still has a valid Mareva injunction to freeze some foreign accounts and seize some assets linked with Diezani and her business associates in the United Kingdom and some jurisdictions.”
“Some of the offshore financial institutions, where accounts are frozen, include BNP Paribas (Switzerland), LGT Bank (Switzerland), Standard Chartered Bank (London), Corner Bank (Switzerland), and Deutsche Bank (Geneva).”
“Besides the luxury properties traced to Diezani and Aluko in the US, we have identified more in Dubai.”
“So far, we have commenced the process of ensuring the forfeiture of these assets by the suspects. The EFCC is also verifying the assets linked with Aluko’s business partner, Chief Jide Omokore in Dubai too.”
“All the steps taken so far are in line with the relevant laws in the UAE and the six agreements signed with Nigeria when President Buhari went on official trip,” he said.
The source said that the EFCC knows that “some of the assets were bought with part of the $1.5 billion oil production contracts”.
“These oil barons and their ilk acquired these properties when Dubai was a safe haven for looted funds. But UAE has strengthened its laws in a manner that there is no more hidden place for the corrupt.”
“We are already employing the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement to get this done,” the source said.