The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is taking a significant step in its pursuit of justice against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, by applying to join her ongoing trial in the United Kingdom as an interested party.

This move is aimed at ensuring Nigeria’s access to assets that may be seized from the former minister, who is facing trial for alleged bribery and corruption.

According to sources, a team from the EFCC will soon depart for London to begin the process of filing papers as a party to the case.

The commission is seeking to avail the UK court of its findings and the forfeiture order of a high court in Abuja on Diezani’s $2.5 million homes and cars.

Diezani has been on trial in the Southwark Crown Court in the UK for allegedly receiving £100,000 in cash, chauffeur-driven cars, flights on private jets, luxury holidays for her family, and the use of multiple London properties.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) alleges that she might have “benefitted from at least £100,000 in cash” and other benefits.

A source revealed told The Nation that the EFCC’s application to join the trial is crucial for Nigeria to recover questionable assets from Diezani.

This country may not be able to retrieve questionable assets from Diezani if the EFCC does not file an application as an interested party,” the source said. “We have received an advisory on this important bend to Diezani’s trial, and we will be part of the case in the UK.”

The EFCC has sufficient evidence against Diezani, including a court order on her $2.5 million homes and cars.

In another case, a former chairman of EFCC confirmed that the commission recovered $153 million and secured the final forfeiture of over 80 properties in Nigeria valued at about $80 million.

The allegations against Diezani by the EFCC border on alleged stealing of about $2.5 billion from Nigeria’s coffers as a minister.

In March 2023, the NCA also provided evidence to the US Department of Justice that enabled them to recover assets totaling $53.1 million linked to Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption.

The EFCC’s collaboration with the NCA in the UK is seen as a significant step in tackling corruption and recovering looted assets.

The Head of the NCA’s international corruption unit (ICU), Andy Kelly, said, “Bribery is a pervasive form of corruption, which enables serious criminality and can have devastating consequences for developing countries. We will continue to work with partners here and overseas to tackle the threat.”

Diezani was arrested in London in 2015 shortly after stepping down as minister and was charged in August with six bribery offenses. She has spent more than eight years on police bail, living in St John’s Wood, an expensive area of London.


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