Inside Nigeria

Diezani, Kuku, Olojeme Top EFCC’s Watchlist

A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke tops the list of 18 high-profile suspects on the watch-list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for extradition.

According to a document, some of the suspects have been located in foreign jurisdictions while a few others have gone underground.

Others on the EFCC radar are a  former Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator of Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku; a one-time Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dauzia Loya Etete (aka Dan Etete) Munamuna Seidougha and Amaran Joseph in respect of $1.09b Malabu Oil Block Settlement Agreement; and a former Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, Mr. Haruna Momoh, who is being probed for crude oil swap contracts and N1.6 billion infractions uncovered by  a forensic audit of the PPMC.

Also on the watch-list are the Chairman of Rockson Engineering Company Limited, Mr. Joseph Arumemi Ikhide, whose company got about $2billion of the vote for the stalled $16 billion power projects;   a businessman, Mr. Kola Aluko, who was an ally of ex-Minister Diezani and whose N6.42 billion assets were forfeited on the order of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi on October 22, 2019; and Adam Quinn, a British over the $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria by Process and Industrial Development (P&ID).

Those wanted include a former Chairman of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Olojeme, who has two outstanding cases over alleged diversion of $48,485,127 from the N62.3billion in NSITF accounts between 2009 and 2015 and the Chief Executive Officer of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux, Aboubakar Hima being probed for alleged conspiracy and contract scam of $394m, 9.9m Euro and N369m.

A top source said: “We have either declared or seized the assets of some of these high-profile suspects on our radar. We are already exploring Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with some countries to extradite some of these suspects.

“We are collaborating with the International Police (INTERPOL); the FBI; Metropolitan Police in the UK; the National Crimes Agency (NCA) in the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to locate some of these high-profile suspects.

“In fairness, one or two suspects like Mr. Joseph Arumemi Ikhide have written the EFCC that they are attending to their health abroad. They did not specify how long they will receive medical care but we are asking sister agencies abroad to monitor them.

“We have watch-listed some with INTERPOL; we have applied to the court for the extradition of some of these suspects; we have written to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on those to be extradited and our application will be treated on the basis of facts and figures, including the reports of of some of our investigations.

“So far, our MLAT with the UAE has been effective with the recent interception of a former Attorney-General of the Federation in Dubai.

Nigeria signed six agreements with the UAE on January 19, 2016 following a state visit by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The pact includes Judicial Agreements on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters, and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters (the recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth).

It was learnt that the Federal Government had been collaborating with the UAE authorities on suspicious cash and assets allegedly owned by some (Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

On Tuesday in Ilorin, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu, confirmed the agency’s plan to repatriate 18 high-profile persons in some parts of the World.

He told told reporters at the Ilorin zonal office of the commission that some Nigerians “don’t believe that corruption is bad.

He said: “The commission will organise massive protests against corruption on February 14. We will involve youth corps members, youths and civil society groups all over the federation.

“The request of President Muhammadu Buhari in London for the extradition of alleged looters is just the beginning of the fight against corruption in Nigeria. We are going to extradite more Nigerians to face trial.

“We will bring back all ‘the looters’ who are hiding outside this country. The fight against corruption has just started I am telling you. It will be renewed this year. It is going to be vigorous.”

Speaking on his non-confirmation as the substantive EFCC chair, Magu said: “I feel great. I am not worried. It is God that appoints and does otherwise. If God says you are holding a position, whether you are confirmed or unconfirmed when it is your time to leave you will leave. I believe very much in that.”

SOURCE: The Nation


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