The British government, on Monday, seized £27,000 (over N8m), from the immediate past Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was arrested for offences related to bribery and corruption last week, following investigated by the UK National Crime Agency.
She was however granted conditional bail by the National Crime Agency, (NCA).
The British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, reported that £5,000 and $2000 were also seized by the NCA, from Beatrice Agama, Diezani’s mother.
According to the BBC report, the NCA had approached the Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Marylebone Road, London, and obtained the order to seize the said sum until April next year.
The NCA is said to have applied for the seizure of the money in accordance with Section 295 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2012, POCA.
In response, the court ruled that the money could be held for six months.
According to Vanguard, the seizure of the money was to enable the anti-graft agency present it as evidence of corruption against the former minister in the pending money laundering case that the body plans to press against her and four other suspects now in London.
The four suspects are believed to include a relative of the former minister and three oil barons.
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with confiscation being the most commonly used power.
The Act says: “Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place. Other means of recovering the proceeds of crime which do not require a conviction are provided for in the Act, namely civil recovery, cash seizure and taxation powers.
“The aim of the asset recovery schemes in POCA is to deny criminals the use of their assets, recover the proceeds of crime and disrupt and deter criminality.
Recall that the Presidency on Sunday confirmed the arrest of Alison-Madueke, adding that it is working closely with British law enforcement on the matter.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, confirmed the arrest.
The statement read, “The Federal Government is aware of the arrest and all the government investigative agencies are working very closely with the British law enforcement.”
“Nigerian authorities are saying for the first time that matters are being handled with seriousness and deep commitment. Nobody wants to give the impression that this government is frivolous and unserious.
“For this reason, government is only confirming active collaboration. Beyond this, we are not saying more. In due course, Nigerians will be briefed on updates as appropriate.”