The Federal High Court in Sokoto, Sokoto State, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arraign Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, former Minister of Water Resources and four others for N500million fraud. 

The anti-graft commission is to arraign Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, Ibrahim Gidado, Nasiru Dalhatu, Ibrahim Milgoma and Abdullahi Mohammed Wali on charges ranging from conspiracy to money laundering in relation to the case against Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources.

The defendants are alleged to have participated in the sharing of the $115million largesse from former Minister of Petroleum Resources intended to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election — an action deemed a contravention of section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

The EFCC has been in court with Diezani since the beginning of the Buhari administration. In the course of its investigation, it traced properties valued at millions in dollars to the former minister at Banana Island, Lagos. 

She was said to have purchased the 15-storeyed building, which comprises 18 flats and six penthouses, between 2011 and 2012 from the developers, YF Construction and Real Estate. 

The property was allegedly acquired in the name of a shell company, Rusimpex Limited, managed by one Afamefuna Nwokedim, Principal Partner, Stillwaters Law Firm, Lagos. These properties and all other assets have been forfeited to the federal government by courts. 

In August 2017, Justice Chuka Obiozor, a judge sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the final forfeiture of a $37.5m (N11.75bn) property on Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, allegedly belonging to Diezani. The order followed an ex parte application filed on July 17, 2017, by the EFCC.

In Aso Drive, Maitama, Abuja, Alison-Madueke reportedly acquired a six-bedroom en-suite apartment made up of three large living rooms, two-bedroom guest chalets, two-bedroom boys quarters, two lockup garages and a car park. It was bought on July 20, 2011 for N80million. 

EFCC had also said she owned various high-value properties all over the country, obtained with illicit funds.

 

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