For many following the investigation of the former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, the recent order on Monday for the final forfeiture of $37.5million Banana Island property to the Federal Government was a case of vindication of justice. However, if the recent report from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is anything to go by, then the court has only forfeited less than 5% of the illegal funds traced to the ex-minister.
According to the report, the EFCC has so far traced N47.2 billion and $487.5million to the ex-minister. Together, this translates to about $645 million. Although it is not yet clear how much of this sum was amassed illegally, the $37.5 million vacated property translates to just 5.8% of the amount.
Also notable from the report of the EFCC are the several properties in Madueke’s name which were listed. They include 21 mixed housing units of eight four-bedroom apartments, two penthouse apartments of three-bedrooms each and six three-bedroom (all en-suite) terrace apartments in Yaba, a twin four-bedroom duplex at Lekki Phase one, Lagos and 16 four-bedroom terrace duplexes at No. Heritage Court Estate, Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Phase 1 Extension, Port Harcourt.
While the EFCC’s penchant for coming up with large figures of alleged loot and little evidence to back it up is known, the smile on the faces of people who thought justice was holding sway is likely to grow dimmer with this revelation. Whether or not more forfeitures will take place will depend on how well the EFCC can present its case.