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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Alleged Money Laundering: Diezani Seeks to be Joined in Suit Against Belgore

 Diezani Alison-Madueke


A former petroleum minister Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is seeking to be joined in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mohammed Belgore, and a former Minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Diezani’s lawyer, Obinna Onya, said his client was named in counts one to four of the charge presented by the EFCC but was not made a defendant.


He then told the Federal High Court in Lagos that her application was to enable her to defend the allegations in all four counts.

The prosecution, however, opposed the application on the ground that he had not been served.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa, therefore, adjourned the matter till the documents were properly served.

He also adjourned the trial till October 4 for the EFCC to respond to an objection made by the defence counsel over the admissibility of a computer-generated document tendered by the EFCC’s witness, Usman Zakari.

Zakari, an investigator for the Commission, said in the course of investigation, he discovered emails between the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Ogonna Okonkwo, and the son of the former petroleum minister.

According to the witness, the emails showed a list of beneficiaries of the $115,010,000 (about N37bn) allegedly shared by Alison-Madueke to some individuals in 36 states during the 2015 general elections.

Suleiman and Belgore are accused of directly taking possession of the said sum and conspired to make cash payment of N450m, which “exceeded the amount authorised by law without going through financial institution”.


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