BEVERLY HILL, August 09, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of N7,646,700,000 deposited in Sterling Bank Plc by former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in an ex parte application, told Justice Chuka Obiozor-led court that the N7.6bn was part of the sum of $153,310,000 which Diezani allegedly siphoned from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) sometime in 2014. The anti-graft body also alleged that the former Petroleum Minister stashed some of the money in three Nigerian banks but that the Federal Government, had since February 2016, through an order granted by Justice Muslim Hassan, also of the Federal High Court, taken possession of part of the banks from the other banks.
It declared that the Federal Government had recovered N23.4bn, $5m and another N9.08bn out of the $153.3m. and therefore, prayed the court to order Sterling Bank to deliver up to the Federal Government the N7.6bn still in its custody. Justice Obiozor granted the order and directed the commission to cause it to be published. The judge then adjourned till August 28, 2017 for Sterling Bank and any other interested party to appear before the court to know why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government. THEWILL recalls that Justice Obiozor, on Monday, ordered that a $37.5m mansion on Banana Island, Lagos linked to Diezani plus the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 realised as rents on the property be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.