We Have Recovered $153m, 80 Houses From Diezani – EFCC Chairman

EFCC Seeks Diezani’s Extradition, Court Adjourns Arraignment Till May
(File) Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

 

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, says the anti-graft agency has so far recovered $153 million from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Bawa added that 80 houses valued at $80 million were also recovered from the former minister.

“There are several cases surrounding Diezani’s case. I was part of that investigation, and we have done quite a lot.

”In one of the cases we recovered $153 million; we have secured the final forfeiture of over 80 properties in Nigeria valued at about $80 million. We have done quite a bit on that,” said the agency’s boss in the April edition of the commission’s magazine, EFCC Alert.

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He added, “The other cases as it relates to the $115 million INEC bribery are also ongoing across the federation.

“We are looking forward to the time we will, maybe, have her in the country, and, of course, review things and see what will happen going forward. The case has certainly not been abandoned.”


In this interview conducted in February 2020, former acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, calls for the extradition of Diezani over alleged $2.5bn theft.


Diezani is facing charges bordering on bribery and money laundering in Nigeria and in London.

The commission had accused Diezani of fleeing the country to the UK in order to escape justice.

In February 2020, the EFCC under the leadership of its former boss, Ibrahim Magu, asked UK authorities to extradite the former minister on the ground that she allegedly stole a sum of $2.5 billion belonging to the Nigerian government.

Stressing that the fund must be accounted for, Magu also claimed that Diezani had a generation of looters supporting her actions which he said was not good for the image and development of the country.

He stated that the EFCC was in touch (at the time) with the international community to facilitate the extradition of the former minister.

Ex-Minister, Others Arraigned For Allegedly Receiving N450m From Alison-Madueke

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke

 

A former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; former Governor of Zamfara State, Aliyu Shinkafi and two others were on Monday arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Zamfara.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Yuguda and his accomplices on a five-count charge of Conspiracy and Money Laundering.

Others charged before Justice Justice Fatima Murtala of the Federal High Court are Aminu Ahmed Nahuche and Ibrahim Malaha.

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The anti-graft agency in a statement signed on Monday by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, allegedly that the accused received N450 million money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

According to Uwujaren, the money was meant to influence the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

The charge sheet read: “You Ambassador Bashir Yuguda,  Aminu Ahmed Nahuche and Ibrahim Malaha on or about 27th, March 2018, at Gusau, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired among yourselves to receive cash payment of the sum of N450, 000,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira Only) from Odia Akpotune without transacting through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act and punishable under 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”

Upon hearing their submission, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

Counsel to the prosecution Johnson Ojogbane requested the court for a trial date in view of the plea of the defendants.

The defence counsel J. C Shaka moved a motion for bail asking the court to admit the defendants to bail pending the conclusion of the matter.

In her ruling, the trial judge, Justice Murtala, granted the defendants bail in the N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira Only) each and two sureties in like sum.

She, however, stated that one of the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court while the other must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

According to the judge, both sureties shall be public or civil service not below grade level 16.

Also, the court also ruled that the defendants must deposit their recent passport photographs and international passports with the registrar.

The case has been adjourned to June 27 and 28, 2018 for the commencement of trial while the defendants are remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail terms.

Seek ICC Arrest Warrant For Alison-Madueke – SERAP Writes Buhari

Diezani Allison-Madueke, EFCC, Court, Diverted Funds,

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently obtain a warrant of arrest from the International Criminal Court following allegations of corruption against Alison-Madueke considered as crimes against humanity.

A statement signed by its Deputy Director Timothy Adewale, mandates the Buhari led administration to “seek from the International Criminal Court an arrest warrant to bring Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke before the court on allegations of corruption against her, which the government should consider as crimes against humanity and serious enough for it to sanction her prosecution before the court.”

SERAP’s request followed growing allegations of corruption against Mrs Alison-Madueke and the recent disclosure by the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had recovered about half a trillion naira from her. Several court orders have also seized millions of dollars from bank accounts and forfeiture of several houses both in Nigeria and abroad linked to her.

Several court orders have also seized millions of dollars from bank accounts and forfeiture of several houses both in Nigeria and abroad linked to her.

The statement read in part: “SERAP believes that as important as it is, the recovery of alleged stolen public funds from Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is far from adequate to redress the crimes against humanity that have been committed against Nigerians. The allegations of corruption clearly suggest the exploitation of Nigeria’s natural resources to the detriment of its people and are serious enough to meet the requirements of crimes against humanity, thus bringing her within the jurisdiction of the ICC.

“Pursuing this case before the ICC would also help to deter grand corruption and its devastating effects on Nigeria and contribute to the development of case-law in the field of corruption and citizens’ socio-economic rights, and ultimately advance the right of Nigerians to restitution, compensation, and guarantee of non-repetition. Such bold initiative would also improve public confidence in the fight against corruption.

“We also urge your government should urgently propose legislation that would characterize the kind of corruption allegedly committed by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke as a crime against humanity within our national laws, and thus allow Nigerian courts to directly hear those cases.”

Furthermore, the organisation attributed the level of poverty faced by some Nigerians to the failure of successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, to effectively address the fight against corruption.

“Primarily because of grand corruption under successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, millions of Nigerians continue to live in extreme poverty, a condition manifested by the lack of clean water, malnutrition, high rates of child mortality and morbidity, low life expectancy, illiteracy, perception of hopelessness and social exclusion.

“Such basic necessities are those resources needed for individuals to maintain their physical and mental integrity. The resources may be material resources, services or access opportunities. SERAP believes that depriving individuals of basic necessities may cause physical or mental sufferings, material losses, physical or mental injury, or death,” the statement read.

Corruption Allegations: SERAP Calls On UK Govt. To Extradite Alison-Madueke

SERAP, Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister, CorruptionCivil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the UK authorities to “extradite Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke to face charges of corruption and money laundering.

Coming ahead of the International Anticorruption Summit in the UK, SERAP says the charges she is currently facing in UK court do not sufficiently capture the gravity of her alleged crimes, and the increasing allegations of corruption against her in Nigeria.

The request followed announcement during the week by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it was carrying out special investigations into the roles played by banks in certain financial transactions, especially the 23 billion Naira reportedly shared to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by officials of the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration to influence the outcome of the last general elections.

According the SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, “The anticorruption summit in London provides an important opportunity for the UK government to support the ongoing fight against corruption in Nigeria, and to send a powerful message that the UK will not provide sanctuary or condone impunity for corrupt public officials.”

The statement reads: “As a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption, the UK government can use the convention as a basis for the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria.

“We urge the Nigerian authorities to without delay submit a request to the UK authorities for the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke, explicitly making the point that Nigeria will guarantee her a due process-trial.

“If the UK refuses extradition request, Nigeria should consider submitting the matter for arbitration and if this cannot resolve the case, refer it to the International Court of Justice for adjudication. The Nigerian authorities should also consider filing a civil action against Mrs Alison-Madueke in the UK court.

“By sending Mrs Alison-Madueke back to her country, the UK will be sending a message that high-level official corruption will not go unpunished no matter where the suspected perpetrator hides and thus contribute to the fight against impunity for grand corruption. The UK indeed has an obligation to extradite Mrs Alison-Madueke through international cooperation and collaboration in good faith with Nigeria.

“We believe that effective prosecution in Nigeria is feasible, and this will bring justice closer to Nigerians who are direct victims of corruption. Extraditing Mrs Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria is equally important for allowing easier access to witnesses, evidence, victims of corruption; creating a deep connection between Nigerians and the impact of the trial; and empowering victims of corruption.”

“SERAP believes that there is probable cause that Mrs Alison-Madueke participated in the extraditable acts involving some banks in Nigeria, whether directly or indirectly. The allegations of corruption against her are strong enough for Prime Minister David Cameron to facilitate an extradition proceeding.

“The UK shouldn’t be a country of refuge for corrupt officials if it is to avoid a miscarriage of justice in high-level corruption cases. But if Mrs Alison-Madueke is not extradited, the UK will have a responsibility to amend her charges to include the fresh allegations against her and to try her on the merits under the UK laws as if she had committed the crimes there.

“Mr Cameron risks missing an ‘open goal’ unless he shows that the UK is unreservedly committed to seeking justice for victims of corruption, and international cooperation in the fight against corruption by urgently facilitating the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke to Nigeria so that she can explain her role in the continuing disclosure of allegations of corruption and money laundering involving several Nigerian banks which allegedly took place during her time in office as petroleum minister.

“SERAP is also concerned that UK banks continue to accept millions of pounds from corrupt Nigerian politicians. Without the complicity of these banks, it would be much harder for corrupt politicians including from Nigeria to loot public funds or accept bribes.

“Therefore, in order to meet the requirements of the UN Convention against Corruption, Mr Cameron will need to do more to reform and crack down on his country’s financial institutions that continue to provide safe havens for corrupt funds from Nigeria with almost absolute impunity.

“It’s also important for Mr Cameron to work towards improving judicial cooperation between Nigeria and the UK if stolen assets stashed in the UK are to be fully repatriated and if he is not to send a message that corrupt suspects can get away with their crimes without consequences.”

Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Alison-Madueke Elected OPEC President

OPECNigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison Madueke, has been elected as President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Alison-Madueke’s election as President of OPEC took place on Thursday at the ongoing 166th ordinary meeting of the Organisation, taking place in Vienna, Austria.

She becomes the first female to be elected into that position, and replaces Libya’s Vice Prime Minister for Corporations, Abdourhman Atahar Al-Ahirish, who was occupying the position.

Before her election, Mrs Alison-Madueke was the alternate president of OPEC and is expected to immediately begin to serve her one-year term at the helm of OPEC affairs.

It is expected that OPEC, during its ongoing 166th meeting, would make key decisions that could halt the dwindling price of crude oil.

Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, born 6 December 1960, became Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation on July 26, 2007. She was moved to Mines and Steel Development in 2008, and in April 2010 was appointed Minister of Petroleum Resources.

In accordance with its Statute, the mission of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its Member Countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.

Petroleum Minister blames oil workers’ union for fuel scarcity

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Wednesday blamed oil workers’ union for the current fuel scarcity in the country.

The Minister, who was responding to questions from reporters on the current fuel supply situation in the country, said stringent measures put in place in the management of subsidy regime were meant to check the activities of fraudsters in the sector and also aimed at recovering fraudulent oil subsidy claims.

While appealing for the support and cooperation of Nigerians, the minister said the current suffering was part of the sacrifices the people had to make to enthrone transparency and accountability in the sector.

The country has been grappling with shortage supply of fuel across major cities in the past few months.

Mrs Alison-Madueke said government was not folding it’s arm as it has being doing a lot to arrest the situation include pushing oil out from its strategic reserve.

“Well, we had a slight union issue over the last few days which we are also trying to handle. That created the upsurge again in the fuel queues, but that is well on its way to being sorted out and so it will go down again,” she said.

On possible scarcity during the yuletide, the minister said, “we are doing everything we can on ground to ensure that this Christmas will not be like last Christmas.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that that does not happen. Initially, the queues came out of the whole fuel subsidy issue and the fact of course, that verifications of certain amounts and certain marketers’ claims were being made very stringently and this had tone done.
“We cannot eat our cakes and have it. We cannot keep calling out for transparency and accountability and pointing at corruption if we are not prepared to bear some of the hardship that will obviously come when you are trying to clean up a sector.

“The verifications were being done, payments could not be made by finance and I think they have said that severally, but the verifications have been done, payments are now being made and like I said, the queues are actually beginning to go down.

“On the NNPC side, we had pushed out a lot of our strategic reserve in a bid to ensure that people were not overtly put out in terms of fuel scarcity. And if not for this recent union issue, I think it could have been completely alienated but I am sure over the next few days it will die down completely.”

On efforts towards ensuring level playing field for all oil marketers, the Minister said: “I think that the NNPC is doing everything it can to ensure that there is a level playing field for all interested marketers and operators. You will bear in mind that these are private sector operators and marketers, who actually set up their facilities to make a profit and what we do on government side is to support them in terms of the allocations etc. So is a holistic approach, but it comes in both ways and I think that for the first time in history, I must say, government has supported a much greater echelon of indigenous marketers and operators in terms of setting up and also allowing them access into the sector, which is what we intend to continue doing aggressively as we go over the next couple of years.”

Accept higher taxes, Alison-Madueke tells oil companies

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Tuesday urged foreign oil companies in Nigeria to accept higher government revenues from crude production outlined in a draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) being debated in National Assembly.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke

Speaking at an economic summit in Abuja, Mrs Alison-Madueke said fiscal reforms in the proposed PIB, if passed, would be the most comprehensive in four decades.

She described the increased government takes from oil revenues in the PIB as small and said they were fair, given sustained higher oil prices.

“Nigeria is not alone in the tightening of fiscal terms,” she said. “The goal has always been to find a fair balance between the government and the contractors’ shares.”

President Goodluck Jonathan presented the bill to the National Assembly in August and it is still being discussed.

Oil majors have cried out about proposed tax terms in the bill, with Shell and ExxonMobil saying they would make exploration deep offshore, which is the key to growing Nigeria’s reserves, non-viable.

Nigeria’s tax and royalties regimes are complex and often highly secretive. Little is known about existing terms on offshore contracts, but oil majors say the PIB has worse terms than existing ones.

“The government is not in the business of oil and gas to make a loss for the country. At the same time, the intent is to remain competitive to attract investment,” Mrs Alison-Madueke told delegates at the conference.

She has said after the changes were made in the PIB, Nigeria’s “government take” on offshore projects would be around 73 percent, lower than in rival producers Angola, Norway and Indonesia.

“The PIB has been 12 years in the making. If it was such an easy bill, it would have been hashed out a long time ago,” the Minister said.

“I don’t think any position you take on a bill such as this could be perfect … but I think we did a fairly equitable job.”

The PIB’s comprehensive nature — comprising everything including fiscal terms, reform of the state oil company, penalties for environmental infractions and funds for communities living on oil fields — is partly why it has been so hard to agree on.

In a speech, the head of local operator Seplat Petroleum suggested the fiscal regime be hived off from the rest of the bill and quickly passed, to end uncertainty holding back billions of dollars of investment.

Mrs Alison-Madueke said this had been considered and rejected in the drafting of the bill, which would remain comprehensive.

Fuel subsidy must be scrapped for refineries to work – study

The Federal Government will struggle to attract the investment it needs to get its refineries working unless it scraps a fuel subsidy that keeps domestic gasoline prices artificially low, a government commissioned report seen by Reuters on Wednesday said.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke ordered the report earlier this year in a bid to find solutions to fix Nigeria’s three refineries, which operate at only 20 percent capacity.

Despite being among the world’s top 10 crude oil exporters, the country imports 80 percent of the fuel it needs, using a state subsidy scheme that loses billions of dollars to graft.

The unpublished report leaked to Reuters said current plans to repair dilapidated refineries will most likely fail, because the government will struggle to mobilise funds and vested interests will try to thwart its efforts.

It proposes that the Federal government privatise its refineries, as it is doing with its also moribund power sector, but warned that getting investment will be a tall order while motor fuel prices remain controlled.

“The regulated pricing policy of the Federal Government for petroleum products is the most widely adduced single reason by prospective investors for the lack of investment in new refineries in Nigeria in recent years,” the report said.

It was presented to President Goodluck Jonathan earlier this month but never published. President Jonathan attempted to remove the popular fuel import subsidy in January, but a week of strikes and protests forced him to partially reinstate them.

Many Nigerians see cheap fuel as the only benefit they get from living in an oil rich state.

The report was among a raft of committees set up in the wake of January’s protests. They include a probe into oil and gas production leaked to Reuters last month that showed Nigeria lost billions of dollars in cut price deals with oil majors.

The latest one said Nigerian refineries were the worst in Africa at using their capacity, which is officially 445,000 barrels per day. Ms Alison-Madueke said in October that Nigeria would spend $1.6 billion on turnaround maintenance to get the refineries operating at 90 percent capacity by 2014.

“Laudable as the (plans) may be, they are not likely to deliver the necessary solution,” the report said, adding it was doubtful the government would be able to raise that money.

“In the event that the work gets going, it will be very difficult to steer it clear of obstructive political and bureaucratic influences,” it said.

Analysts say previous attempts to get refineries going in Africa’s top energy producer have been held back by vested interests such as fuel importers profiting from the status quo.

Several contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been given to companies doing maintenance on Nigeria’s refineries over the last 15 years but with little impact on output.

“They have not operated as performance-oriented businesses and are plagued with severe plant integrity issues,” the report said. A parliamentary probe in April found that graft in the fuel subsidy scheme cost Nigeria $6.8 billion in three years.

The report said in order for the refineries to work government should sell at least 51 percent of its share in the operations to competent private partners, which it said could restore them to 90 percent capacity by 2016.

It also said the government must “rise up to its responsibility” to protect pipelines from rampant oil thieves, which by some estimates drain a fifth of its output.

Jonathan sends PIB to National Assembly

The Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Wednesday said that President Goodluck Jonathan has sent the latest draft of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the National Assembly for debate.

“I am happy to announce to you that this morning Mr President forwarded the Petroleum Industry Bill to the national assembly,” Mrs Alison-Madueke told reporters at the presidential villa.

The long-delayed and complex bill could be one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of the oil industry in Nigeria, changing everything from fiscal terms to the make-up of the state-oil firm.

Several drafts have been drawn up in recent years but have been scrapped or re-written because government, lawmakers and foreign oil companies couldn’t agree on details.