The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the forfeiture of $153million allegedly belonging to former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke to the Federal Government.
The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the money was laundered for the former minister.
Justice Muslim Hassan held that the money was a product of unlawful activity according to The Nation.
The judge ordered the forfeiture of unclaimed N23.4billion, $5million as well as $40million (the naira equivalent of which is N9.08billion).
EFCC said the laundered money was $153million, some of which was converted to naira.
“I am satisfied that all the conditions in Section 17 (1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act have been met,” the judge held.
The section makes a property that is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful act forfeitable to the Federal Government.
Justice Hassan had on January 6 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the money stashed in various banks.
While the N23.4billion and $5million were unclaimed, a bank chief, Dauda Lawal, claimed the $40million (which was worth N9.08billion, when it was forfeited to the EFCC).
Lawal had accused EFCC of falsifying the circumstances under which he surrendered the N9.08billion.
He denied ever being in possession of properties suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity held or laundered on behalf of Mrs Alison-Madueke.
Lawal said following his arrest on May 9, 2016, he cooperated with the EFCC and made a full admission to having received $25million.
“Having provided evidence to the EFCC of how the $25million so obtained had been disbursed, I was still made to agree to surrender to the EFCC an additional sum of N9.08billion being the naira equivalent of $40million at the rate of N227 to $1,” he said.
On how he got the money, Lawal said he received a call from a personal friend, Stanley Lawson, around March 2015 to help collect $25million from someone in Lagos, which he subsequently paid into an account provided for him.