The Federal Government has begun the process for the valuation and sale of property belonging to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke which were forfeited to the government.
Diezani, who was the minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan, has been in the United Kingdom since 2015 and has refused to return to Nigeria ever since. She was at some point reported to have acquired the citizenship of the Dominican Republic and bagged a diplomatic passport.
NewsLead recalls that the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, had told the House of Representatives in May that jewellery worth N14bn was seized from Diezani.
The former Oil minister’s recovered items which were listed are 125 pieces of wedding gowns, 13 pieces of small gowns, 41 pieces of waist trainers, 73 pieces of hard flower, 11 pieces of suit, 11 pieces of invisible bra, 73 pieces of veils, 30 pieces of braziers, two pieces of standing fan, 17 pieces of magic skits, six packets of blankets, one table blanket and 64 pairs of shoes.
Also, the Diezani property located in the posh Banana Island Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, include 18 flats and six penthouses located at Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista, Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout.
Meanwhile, other notable properties listed include those belonging to the late Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, whose houses in the Wuse 2 and Maitama high-brow neighbourhoods of Abuja were confiscated by the Federal Government.
Among them are No. 14 Adzope Crescent, off Kumasi Crescent; 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse 2; and 6 Umme Street, Wuse 2.
Last week, the Federal Government started the process of screening 613 independent valuers expected to manage the sale of the assets alleged to have been illegally acquired, which have now been permanently forfeited to it in about 25 locations throughout the country.
The total number of properties marked for auction across the country is 1,620, including cars, houses, phones, laptops, vessels and other valuables.
The Chairman, Inter-ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Forfeited Assets, Mohammed Etsu, told journalists lasts week that 229 proposals were received for the valuation of plants, machinery, motor vehicles, furniture and equipment, while 75 companies submitted bids for the valuation of water vessels for disposal, and 25 companies presented bids for the valuation of jewellery, ornaments and clothing materials for disposal.
Etsu, who is also the Solicitor-General of the Federation, stated that the committee would ensure a harmonised and transparent process to safeguard the recovered assets by the relevant agencies.
He said the sub-committee on valuation and due process had earlier conducted the technical evaluation of the bids received from interested valuers, adding that only clothing materials were available for valuation at the moment.
The solicitor-general pointed out that pieces of jewellery were still subjects of litigation and therefore were not part of the process for now, reminding the successful valuers of the need to be thorough.