The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized a mansion worth N3.58bn ($18m ) in the Asokoro area of Abuja allegedly belonging to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said this during an interview with Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based news network.
Magu, in the interview, monitored by our correspondent on Monday, noted that the items in the house included jewellery, furniture and a bulletproof gym worth about $2m.
He stated that the house was part of the $10bn in cash and assets that had been seized by the Federal Government in the last one year.
“We have been able to take on a lot of big shots that were hitherto untouchable in the three arms of the military, political class. We have recorded 164 convictions in just one year,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Monday, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the commission had the right to seize properties believed to have been acquired with stolen funds.
He said, “In recent times, a lot of interest has been generated by the action of the commission in freezing the accounts of suspects that were investigated or are currently being investigated. Some commentators have tended to ascribe vindictive motives to this action.
“In order to prevent misinformation, it is imperative to explain the reason behind the commission’s actions in this regard. Freezing of accounts suspected of being used for commission of financial crimes is a mandatory investigative step backed by law.
“Indeed, Section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act 2004 empowers the commission to freeze any account suspected of being used for financial crimes.