Court documents have revealed more details of how Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko, business associates of Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of petroleum resources, “squandered funds from shady” oil contracts, Sahara reporters have said.
The documents, obtained by Sahara Reporters are linked to the civil forfeiture notice filed by the US department of justice (DOJ) to recover funds and property from the contract.
The notice, which was filed on Friday last week, had earlier revealed how Alison-Madueke, between 2011 and 2014, received £537,000 in rent as well as £393,000 in chauffeur services from Aluko.
Further details from the notice, filed against the trio of Alison-Madueke, Aluko, Omokore alongside two undisclosed conspirators of the department, detailed how Aluko and Omokore gave out huge amounts of money, mostly in foreign currencies, to their cronies.
Lavish properties purchased
Prosecutors said the duo had bought four residential property abroad to the tune of £11.45 million for Dieziani and her relatives, including a property known as ‘The Falls’, bought at £3.25 million and said to be located at 96 Camp Road, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire SL9 7PB.
While some of the numerous property bought with dividends from the contract – and “lavishly” renovated – are located in Nigeria, most of them are bought in various countries abroad especially in the US and London.
Sahara Reporters quoted prosecutors in the case as saying a mobile telephone recovered at the known residence of Alison-Madueke and her mother contained digital photographs of Alison-Madueke present inside The Falls.
Prosecutors were also said to have discovered that Aluko, on October 8, used his American express card to purchase two identical exercise machines at Harrods in London at the cost of £10,926 each, with one of the machines delivered to the known London address of the Dieziani while the other was to be delivered to The Falls.
The court papers also cited an occasion in September 2010 when the former minister had traveled to Houston in the US to deliver a keynote address at Rice University.
While in the US, Alison-Madueke’s cronies allegedly wired a total of $197,600 to Houston Furniture Store in two separate transactions on or about September 30, 2010, and October 1, 2010. The payments were said to be in settlement of approximately $200,000 worth of purchases signed for by Omokore,” the court papers showed, the papers indicated.
“The payments were said to be in settlement of approximately $200,000 worth of purchases signed for by Omokore,” according to the court papers.
“Also on October 7, 2010, Houston Furniture Store drew up two additional sales invoices in Omokore’s name amounting to $23,703.50. The following day, he emailed photographs of the items listed on these additional sales invoices directly to the former petroleum minister. On October 9, 2010, Alison-Madueke responded by email to him: ‘Thx. (Thanks) cabinet is the correct one.”
Cars and other lavish spending
The documents revealed that Aluko and Omokore had also donated cars worth N800 million to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), then the ruling party.
“They equally bought cars valued at over N130 million for Mrs. Alison-Madueke and top shots of NPDC. For himself, Mr. Aluko paid $18,548,619.99 and N1,070,000,000 to FBN Mortgages Limited as part-payment for 26 flats at 46 Gerrard Road Ikoyi Lagos,” the documents showed.
“The total cost of the flats was N5,210,520,315. He also paid $25,839,606.77 and N95,000,000 to Real Bank to part-finance the acquisition and renovation of properties by the Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development limited (AEBD).
“These included Mason apartments at 6 Gerrard Road Ikoyi Lagos, comprising 60 units of three-bedroom apartment valued at $78,000,000; Marion Apartments Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, consisting of 43 units at the cost of $76,160,000, 33A Cooper Road Ikoyi, which was renovated at a of $4,937,750 and Admiralty Towers at 8 Gerrard Road Ikoyi, Lagos.
“The two businessmen transferred $69,912,981.15 to Mia Hotels Limited, First Motors Limited, V.I. Petrochemicals, Evergreen Reality & Management, WIz Trade Limited, DE First Union Integrated Services and Amity Plus limited.
“Mr. Aluko equally bought homes or apartments at 1049 Fifth Avenue, New York, 1948&1952 Tolls Avenue, Santa Barbara, 157 West 57th St, New York , 4100 Let Revenge, Dubai. In Nigeria, he bought Avenue Towers in Lagos; bought a piece of land in Mont Tremblat, Canada and a property at Colina D’oro Montagnola, Switzerland.
“He acquired the luxury yacht, Galactica Star, at the cost of $80 million. He bought 58 exotic cars, expensive watches, private jets, Global Express S5-GMG and a Bombardier Global 6000 9H-OPE.”
The court papers noted that Aluko still had a bank balance of “$25 million in LDT Switzerland, $1million at Corner Bank, Lugano, Switzerland; $40million at Deutsche Bank, Geneva; and $175,000 at HSBC, London.”
Meanwhile, the US government had earlier filed a suit to recover the sum of $144 million in assets said to be proceeds from the shady contracts.
This is even as a federal high court in Lagos had directed 19 banks to seize assets belonging to Omokore and Aluko pending its decision on the fate of a suit seeking the recovery of the $1.7 billion owed to the federal government.