Monday, September 18, 2017

EFCC inspects Diezani’s N7bn Dubai properties, moves for forfeiture

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have visited two mansions in Dubai allegedly belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources , Diezani Alison-Madueke .

The properties , located at E146 Emirates Hill and J 5 Emirates Hill , are said to be worth 74 , 000, 000 dirham ( N7 . 1bn ) .

Emirates Hill , which has been described as the Beverly Hills of the United Arab Emirates , is home to some of the richest men in the world including billionaire Chairman of the Stallion Group , Sunil Vaswani .

Others, who are Diezani’ s neighbours, include the immediate past Prime Minister of Pakistan , Nawaz Sharif ; a former President of Pakistan , Asif Ali Zardari ; and Robert Mugabe junior, the son of the President of Zimbabwe and one of Africa’ s longest serving leaders , President, Robert Mugabe.

A source within the EFCC told our correspondent that the anti -graft agency was already applying for the forfeiture of the properties through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation .

If the commission is able to clear all legal hurdles and ensure the final forfeiture of the property , it would bring the total amount of cash and assets finally recovered from Diezani to $200m ( N70 bn ) .

A detective , who did not want his name in print , said the anti -graft agency would exploit the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty the Federal Government had recently signed with the government of the UAE.

The agreements, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari , are Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters, Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and an Extradition Treaty .

The source stated, “ We have informed the UAE authorities that from our investigation , we believe Diezani bought the properties with the proceeds of crime . The whole process is still ongoing but with the MLAT, signed by President Buhari , it has made work a lot easier for us . ”

The detective explained that before the Federal Government signed the treaty , the UAE law prevented foreign officials from having access to properties in the country without the express permission of its owner .

He added that with the new treaty , the UAE authorities were more cooperative and would readily give information of properties from their Land Registry System .

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