UK Sends Detectives to Nigeria for Diezani Alison-Madueke Probe as EFCC Freezes Accounts

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Ahead of the expected arraignment of a former petroleum resources minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, before a Westminster court in London, a team of investigators have visited Nigeria to gather more facts and evidence for her trial.

In Nigeria, the former minister is presently linked to ongoing investigations of a missing $20billion oil cash, phoney crude oil lifting contracts, $115million poll bribery money, the $1.092b Malabu oil deal and the N5.2billion ($25m) oil cash paid by an Indian oil firm for an oil block

Alison-Madueke is being probed by the authorities in the United Kingdom for money laundering and undeclared assets exceeding acceptable limits. The ex-minister and four others were arrested in London on October 2, 2015, by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA subsequently stated that all the suspects were released on "conditional police bail, pending further investigation both in the UK and overseas." Investigations are now believed to have reached an advanced stage to conveniently proceed to trial.

A Westminster Magistrate's Court on Marylebone Road in London had in 2015 restricted Alison-Madueke's movement while also approving the seizure of $41,000 (£27,000) cash from her.

According to The Nation, while in Nigeria, the team of UK detectives inspected the former minister's multi-billion naira mansion, her £600,000 exotic wrist watch and gold and diamond jewelry which have been confiscated.

Meanwhile, there were indications on Monday night that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has also frozen the former minister's bank accounts.

The anti-graft agency is believed to be planning to attach some assets of the ex-minister under the Interim Forfeiture Order in Sections 26 and 29 of the EFCC Act. A source within the agency confirmed the freeze order on the ex-minister's account and noted that the EFCC was collaborating with partners in other countries.

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