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Noose tightens around Alison-Madueke in UK, £18 million property uncovered

 

Property allegedly belonging to former Petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke valued at £18 million has been confiscated by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The London property was said to have been bought for Diezani Alison-Madueke as investigations into the case against the former minister unravels by the day.

Two properties at Regents Park in London, along with one in Buckinghamshire, have now been frozen based on the request of Nigerian authorities.

A London court gave the frozen order in September 2016 but details of the rulings have only recently become public.

But the agency was too late in preventing a further two properties worth £8m from being sold.

In July, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed four properties it alleged were bought for the former petroleum minister by individuals and firms seeking her influence in obtaining lucrative oil asset and crude oil lifting contracts.

Some of the oil assets were assigned to people believed to be her cronies through controversial Strategic Alliance Agreements.

The DoJ’s affidavit stated that businessmen Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko were involved in the purchase of two of the properties allegedly bought for Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

The UK order obtained by journalists at Africa Confidential has revealed that three of the properties have been frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Apart from Alison-Madueke,  Omokore and  Aluko, the order also named three other individuals as defendants in the case, all of whom are believed to have received contracts or oil asset from the NNPC during the embattled minister’s tenure.

They include Aiteo’s Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Peters, a jeweller named Christopher Aire, and a lawyer named Donald Amamgbo. All received contracts from the NNPC. The order forbids the defendants from disposing of or dealing in the properties.

One of these, a massive nine-bedroom house in London’s exclusive Hampstead Garden Suburb, bought by a BVI company in January 2011 for £5,850,000- was sold in May 2015.

Winnington Road property, sold before the court order

Similarly, the property at 39 Chester Close, one of the properties listed in the DoJ case, which was bought by Kola Aluko’s BVI based Mortlake Investments for £1.73 million, was sold in July 2015, months before the NCA initially arrested the former Minister.

UK estate agent, Daniel Ford & Co, assisted in the purchases of three of the properties, and UK solicitors firms, Addie & Co and Gordon’s Partnership, were conveyancers of the deals.

According to Corruption Watch, a UK NGO, investigators should look carefully at these organisations’ due diligence practices.

 

 

 

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