Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday revealed that the estimated value in Naira of jewellery seized from former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke is N14.4 billion (about $35m).
Chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered loots Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective Efficient Management and Utilisation, chaired by Adejoro Adeogun.
Bawa also said the total assets seized from the former minister was estimated at N46 billion (about $111m).
The EFCC boss said though they got the forfeiture order for assets recovered from the former Petroleum Minister in 2019, they were yet to be auctioned.
He stated: “The estimated value of Diezani Allison’s jewellery in naira is N14.4 billion. The estimated value of houses for the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison is worth $80 million”.
Bawa attributed the delay in disposing of the assets to long court processes and administrative exigencies.
He pointed out that with the setting up of the committee by the government, all assets recovered by the EFCC, as well as those recovered by other authorised agencies would be disposed of quickly.
The EFCC Chairman assured that once all recovered assets were disposed of, the Commission would be dealing with issues on a case by case basis and would not let them accumulate again.
The chairman of the committee opined that it was not ideal to continue keeping such recoveries as they were losing value over time.
Adeogun said, “Given the financial situation of Nigeria, shouldn’t we just auction these things fast and put the money to use. Why does it take so long to turn these assets into cash to fund the budget?”
Speaking to journalists on the continued delay in assets disposal after the hearing, the chairman said the federal government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of the Solicitor General for the Federation and “I think they are working tirelessly.”
Adeogun noted, “We have EFCC representatives from that committee and we believe at the end of the day Nigerians are going to appreciate what that committee will come out with in terms of the mandate given to them. “This is to ensure that assets that are not only recovered by the EFCC but the entirety of the recovery agencies assets are disposed of.”