Some investigators from the United Kingdom are currently in Nigeria to gather more evidence against embattled a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, The Nation newspaper is reporting.
The UK investigators’ visit to Nigeria is part of the build-up to the trial of the ex-minister in London. Mrs Alison-Madueke and four others were arrested in London on October 2, 2015 by the National Crime Agency( NCA) but were released on “conditional police bail, pending further investigation both in the UK and overseas”.
The ex-minister is under investigation in the UK over the missing $20billion oil cash, phoney crude oil lifting contracts, $115million poll bribery money, the $1.092b Malabu oil deal and the N5.2billion ($25m) oil cash paid by an Indian oil firm for an oil block
Recall that the UK team inspected the former minister’s multi-billion naira mansion, her £600,000 exotic wrist watch and gold and diamond jewelry which have been confiscated.
Mrs Alison- Madueke has twice in six months appeared before a London court to answer charges regarding the £27,000 money laundering and bribery allegation made against her by the NCA.
She will be returning to the court again in September.
“With the outcome of the fact-finding mission of the UK team, I think so far, the investigation has reached a convenient bend for the prosecution of the ex-minister,” an EFCC source who is familiar with the trip of the investigators was quoted.
According to the report, there were indications that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has also frozen Mrs Alison-Madueke’s bank accounts in relation to her involvement in a $115m (N23, 299,705,000billion) 2015 poll bribery scandal.
“It is too early to disclose the amounts involved in order not to prejudice investigation. We are discovering more on daily basis as some complicit banks are now cooperating. We are allowed by law to place suspicious accounts and assets under interim forfeiture until the court decides otherwise. We are collaborating with anti-graft agencies in other jurisdictions on her case,” the course added.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari recently inaugurated a National Prosecution Coordination Committee (NPCC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The committee is to ensure effective prosecution of high criminal cases in the country.