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Buhari’s Anti-graft War:Niger Delta is finished


Leaders in Niger Delta are finished if recent reports reaching Creek News Weekly is anything to go by as President Mohammadu Buhar’s anti-graft war rages on.
They brought shame and disgrace to the people who traditionally has a great reputation to protect their integrity from time immemorial.
The latest leader that has made Niger Deltans to shame is the ex-Petroleum minister, Mrs. Allison Diesani who is said to be arrested for suspected money laundering and bribery offences London include her mum, son there may be jailed.
The National Crime Agency has tighten the noose with the confiscation of £27,000 ($41,000) which is equivalent of N8,155,164.37 from her UK home.
The former Minister and others who were all granted bail, were not in court but the source confirmed that the NCA filed the application at the Westminster Magistrates Court and was approved under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The sum of £5,000 and $2,000 from Mrs. Beatrice Agama, the mother of the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The court also seized £10,000 from Melanie Spencer, one of the other persons arrested in the case..
It is gathered that the money would be held in the custody of the court until April 5, 2016..
Alison-Madueke left office in May after former President Goodluck Jonathan was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Diezani has, however, denied any wrongdoing when questioned about missing public funds and graft allegations.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, one of the most influential officials of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, was first appointed into the federal cabinet in 2007.
A former board member of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, she was later appointed Minister of Transport by former President Umaru Yar’adua.
In December 2008, she was redeployed to the mines and steel development ministry.
After former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became acting president, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was appointed Nigeria’s first female petroleum minister in February 2010, a position Mrs. Alison-Madueke held till May 29, 2015 when Mr. Jonathan left office.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s tenure as petroleum minister turned out one of Nigeria’s most controversial, amid unending allegations of massive corruption.
Under her watch, dubious oil marketers stole trillions of naira of oil subsidy money. She retained her position despite an indictment by the House of Representatives which investigated the fuel subsidy scandal.
Probes by independent audit firms, including the KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers, confirmed that billions of dollars of oil money were missing. The most notable case of missing money involved $20billion in 2014, as alleged by a former Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi.
Long before her stint in the oil and gas sector, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was investigated by the Nigerian Senate on allegation she paid N30.9 billion to contractors while she held office as transportation minister.
In 2009, the Senate indicted and recommended her prosecution for allegedly transferring N1.2 billion into a private account of a toll company without due process.
Regardless of the indictments, Mrs. Alison-Madueke got elected in November 2014 as the first female president of oil producing countries alliance, OPEC.
The former minister consistently denies wrongdoing. In June, after leaving office, she rejected all allegations of embezzlement saying she never stole from Nigeria.
Another Niger Deltan that brought shame to finish the image of the people of the region is former Governor James Ibori jailed 13 years for fraud totaling nearly £50m ($77m).
James Ibori, former governor of Delta state, admitted 10 counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
Southwark Crown Court was told the amount he stole from the people of Delta state was "unquantified".
Ibori, who evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police, was arrested in Dubai in 2010.
He was extradited to the UK, where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police.
An analysis by Angus Crawford of BBC News Police officers stood, their arms crossed, in front of the courtroom door. Admission was for press and family only. Crowds of supporters and critics pushed and shoved and tutted about not being able to get into the hearing.
But the court authorities were taking no chances after events when people surged into the hearing knocking the prosecutor off her feet.
Protesters outside chanted slogans celebrating Ibori's sentence. Supporters glared at them.
Despite admitting stealing tens of millions of pounds from state coffers meant to help some of the poorest people in Nigeria, he still has some important friends.
But two much bigger questions hover over the whole trial.
First, when a man who has an official salary of £4,000 a year buys a house in Hampstead worth £2.2m, why did no-one smell a rat?
Second, why did some of the best known banks in the world not ask questions about where the cash he deposited with them came from?
One of the counts Ibori admitted related to a $37m (£23m) fraud pertaining to the sale of Delta State's share in Nigerian privatized phone company V Mobile.
He was governor of Delta State between May 1999 and May 2007.
Sasha Wass, QC, prosecuting, told the court Ibori "deliberately and systematically" defrauded the people he was elected to represent.
The court heard he came to the UK in the 1980s and worked as a cashier at a Wickes DIY store in Ruislip, north west London.
He was convicted in 1991 of stealing from the store but then returned to Nigeria and began his climb up the People's Democratic Party (PDP) network.
When he ran for governor he lied about his date of birth to hide his criminal conviction in the UK - which would have prevented him standing for office.
Ibori, whose address was given as Primrose Hill, north London, claims to be 53 but police in London say he is 49.
Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Pitts told Ibori: "You lived modestly in London in the 1990s and no-one I think hearing at that time would imagine the multi millionaire high profile governor that you became some eight or nine years later."
He became governor in 1999 but soon began taking money from state coffers.
Judge Pitts said: "It was during those two terms that you turned yourself in short order into a multi-millionaire through corruption and theft in your powerful position as Delta state governor."
Ibori bought a  house in Hampstead, north London, for £2.2m;  property in Shaftesbury, Dorset, a for £311,000; a £3.2m mansion in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa; a fleet of armored Range Rovers valued at £600,000; a £120,000 Bentley and Mercedes Maybach for 407,000 euros that was shipped direct to his mansion in South Africa.
After the hearing Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service central fraud group, said it would bid to confiscate the assets Ibori had acquired his riches "at the expense of the some of the poorest people in the world".
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "James Ibori's sentence sends a strong and important message to those who seek to use Britain as a refuge for their crimes.
"Corruption is a cancer in developing countries and the coalition government has a zero tolerance approach to it."
On Monday, the BBC's Newsnight revealed an equity fund backed by the UK Department for International Development's private enterprise arm, CDC Group, was being investigated by Nigerian officials.
It uncovered claims suggesting CDC Group put $47.5m (£29.9m) in to the private fund, which invested in Nigerian companies allegedly linked to Ibori.
DFID said the allegations dated to 2009 and that CDC, which is overseen by Mr. Mitchell, always carried out "full and thorough" checks before investing in a fund manager.


The last but not the list is the ex-governor of Nigeria's oil-rich Bayelsa state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was also arrested in the UK.
London police say the 53-year-old man was picked by their special Economic Crimes Unit at Heathrow Airport some years back.
He was later released on bail for a period of two months.
Nigeria's anti-corruption body say Mr Alamieyeseigha was detained in connection with an investigation into allegations of money laundering.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) say they were informed of the governor's detention by London's Metropolitan Police.
Alamieyeseigha was however returned to Nigeria and was quickly picked up by the EFCC operatives until he was temporary pardoned by late Umaru Yar’Adua and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan finally pardoned him.
As if that is not enough, reports say the Metropolitan Poice in London is recently making moves to extradite from Nigeria to face his money laundering charges there even though the Nigerian government has pardoned him of his offence.        
 
These Niger Delta leaders seems to have put a magnitude of disgrace even though Diezani is yet to be found guilty of corruption and bribery offences but former President Olusegun Obasanjo is once quoted to have saying that the emergence of President Mohammadu Buhari will make Niger Delta people to experience big suffering in the land. Perhaps, he may be thinking of the president’s anti-corruption war in the country.
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