Nigerian Court Orders Ex-Oil Minister to Forfeit $21 Million

  • Nigerian agency accused Diezani Alison-Madueke of corruption
  • Abuja protesters demand her extradition from the U.K.

A Nigerian court ordered the forfeiture of 7.6 billion naira ($21 million) allegedly belonging to former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, according to the country’s main anti-corruption agency.

The funds, which are being held in a local bank, must be transferred to the government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement posted on its website on Monday. The anti-graft agency has charged Alison-Madueke in court after accusing her of obtaining the sum through “illegal activities,” it said.

Diezani Alison-Madueke

Photographer: Vladimir Weiss/Bloomberg

Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be in the U.K., is facing a series of corruption cases in Nigeria. Monday’s ruling came after a court on Aug. 22 ordered the interim forfeiture of properties worth $21.4 million that allegedly belonged to her. Nigeria, Africa’s top crude producer, ranked 136 out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index.

A small group of protesters in the capital, Abuja, Tuesday welcomed the ruling and called for her extradition to face criminal charges at home. Officials involved in corruption “took taxpayers’ money,” said Deji Adeyanju, a leader of the demonstration. “We believe that they must be held to account.”

Calls to Alison-Madueke’s lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe, did not connect.

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