The civil forfeiture notice filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to recover $144 million assets from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has given an insight into her lavish lifestyle allegedly funded by proceeds of shady oil deals.
In the notice filed on Friday, prosecutors said Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko, both associates of Diezani, spent money on luxury items in the UK and US for her in a bid to curry favour and secure contracts.
The notice said between August 2011 and January 2014, Aluko and his company Tracon investments Ltd made £537,922 in rental payments for two central London residences both located at 22 St. Edmunds.
It said that flat 19 of London NW8 7QQ was occupied by Diezani, while flat 6 was occupied by Diezani’s mother at the time.
The document said the favours influenced her award of Forcados SAAs to Aluko’s Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts (AEDC), a company incorporated in Nigeria.
It also said between December 2012 and July 2014, Aluko and Tekna, another company owned by him, paid £393,274 for car hire.
Omokore and Energy Property Development Ltd paid at least £4,424 to the chauffeur company, the notice said.
The document said during her visits to Texas, US, Diezani would “spend many hours” reviewing furniture which “were always paid for by someone else”.
It said in May 2011, an unknown person purchased a total of $53,636 furniture for the former minister.
Also, Aluko was said to have wired $262,091 and $280,595 to two furniture stores in Texas for Diezani on May 4, 2012, and June 1, 2012, respectively.
But in a recorded telephone conversation obtained by the prosecutors, Diezani is heard cautioning Aluko on the acquisition of properties.
“You and Jide (Omokore) had some of the most support that we could possibly give. At a time when we’re not doing anything else, we stuck our necks out regarding the SAA and we supported it. How the two of you have ruined it, is incredulous and incredible to all of us,” Diezani reportedly said.
The former minister was quoted as warning the duo that their indiscriminate acquisition of assets was bound to draw attention. Click here to read details of the U.S. Court papers indicting Alison-Madueke, Omokore, Aluko.