FG to auction Diezani’s jewelery, properties

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that the Federal Government would soon auction some of the properties  recovered  from the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke .

EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, made the  disclosure  yesterday during a Press/ Stakeholders briefings on crusade against cyber crime and fraudsters in Lagos.

He said  some of Diezani’s properties and others forfeited by  high profiled fraudsters, politicians and scammers  would  be auctioned in a transparent manner and in line with international practices.

Magu ,said the era of  auctioning forfeited properties without due process is gone, adding that before any forfeited properties would be auctioned , due process must  be strictly followed.

He said  local and  international professional auctioneers would  be invited to evaluate  the forfeited properties before they  would be auctioned publicly.

He said that the process would  kick off in Port Harcourt, River State, with the auctioning of 242 trailers and tankers recovered from internet scammers.

Magu stated that the auctioning  of forfeited properties  in  Port Harcourt has reached the  advanced stage with  the involvement of all the necessary stakeholders and experts  who should have input or contribution in  the  process .

He expressed  displeasure at   the manner    courts  used to  auction  forfeited properties at peanuts.

“The idea of selling recovered proceed of crime for peanuts is bad. This time around, we are not going to tolerate it.

“The era of auctioning forfeited properties at  gross devalued  prices is  gone. We are going to do everything possible to know the real value of any  forfeited  property and we will invite professional and merchants in the area to tell us  the actual prices and the  current worth  and go back to  the court  to give reasonable price for every forfeited property  before auctioning it,” he said.

Speaking on Diezani’s forfeited jewellery,  Magu, said  internationally certified’ auctioneers would auction the $40 million (about N14.4 billion) jewellery .

In September this year, the Federal High Court in Lagos  ordered that the 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m and recovered from the Abuja home of Mrs Diezani, be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Diezani who was appointed the minister of petroleum resources on April 12, 2010, according to findings by the EFCC showed that  she allegedly started acquiring the jewellery in 2012 from  Bukola Oyewumi of Trinket Box Bespoke Jewellery at Ikeja City Mall, Alausa  and others.

Giving account  of the commission’s  achievement  on fight against cybercrime, Magu  disclosed that the  aim  of the anti-graft agency was not only to arrest suspect ,but to destroy  their criminal network through intelligence gathering.

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