- A top EFCC official said Diezani may permanently forfeit £28m jewelry to the federal government
- The jewelry was impounded by the anti-graft agency when it raided the former minister’s home
- The commission also said that Nigerians will be shocked when they see the final list of looters who have embezzled public funds
There were strong indications on Tuesday, April 10, that the highly-priced jewelry valued at £28 million seized from the former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) might be forfeited to the federal government.
The jewelry was impounded from the home of the former minister when operatives of the anti-graft agency raided her house in Abuja shortly after she lost her position.
According to Vanguard, a top official of the EFCC in Abuja confirmed that the boxes containing the items were stored in a safe custody with some of the items still bearing their expensive price tags.
The official said: “Maybe we will soon invite Nigerians to come and see what one person acquired or collected as gifts while serving as minister.
“We have even brought in dealers and experts from the United Kingdom who have assessed the value of the gold and silver in the boxes we seized from the woman’s homes and they have ascertained that the value is not below £28 million,” the top official said.
Responding to a question on the list of those who had looted the treasury, being bandied about by both the ruling APC and the PDP, the official said that the final list of looters would shock Nigerians.
“Nigerians have not seen even 10% of the looters yet; and when the list comes, it will shock Nigerians,” he said.
Meanwhile, the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, commended the EFCC for its assistance in helping to recover N28 billion from various tax defaulters across the country.
Fowler registered the commendation when he met with the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said: “Through the intervention of the EFCC, the agency has been experiencing high level of tax compliance and it is yielding positive results,” According to him, “When tax defaulters are reported and invited to your office (EFCC), we see results; we don’t know how you do it, but we are seeing results and people are complying.”
He believed that the FIRS alone cannot curtail the activities of tax evaders without the collaboration of other national and international agencies such as the EFCC.
The FIRS boss emphasised the need to strengthen the existing collaboration and synergy between the two agencies and assured that his organization would explore all means backed by law to ensure that taxes are paid and not diverted.
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Responding, Magu assured that “the commission is ever ready to partner any agency, organisation or individual in fighting corruption for to move the nation forward."
NAIJ.com previously reported that Alison-Madueke was linked to a fresh corruption scandal as the EFCC discovered an unauthorised withdrawal of $1.3 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) account.
The money was withdrawn from the NNPC account without the approval of the National Assembly of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), under the guise of using it to fight kidnapping and other security threats in Nigeria.
The former coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was also said to be unaware of the withdrawal of the money from the NNPC account.
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