By Uche Amunike
The process of valuing property belonging to several politically exposed persons, including the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke has just commenced, all thanks to the Nigerian Government.
Her property which are located in high brow Banana Island Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi-Lagos include 18 flats and 6 penthouses, which are located at Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista, Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout.
Among the recovered items listed are 125 pieces of wedding gowns, 13 pieces of small gowns, 11 pieces of suits, 73 pieces of veils, 17 magic skirts, 6 packets of blankets, 64 pairs of shoes, 41 pieces of waist trainers, 73 pieces of heart flower, 11 pieces of invisible bra and one table blanket.
The process of screening 613 independent valuers that will manage the sale of the assets alleged to have been acquired illegally by these politicians and which have now been permanently forfeited in about 25 locations throughout the country has just started by the Federal government.
A total of 1,620 property have been marked for auction across the country and these include cars, houses, phones, laptops, vessels and other valuables.
The highest number of property to be auctioned are in Lagos and these include 31 houses and 589 vehicles.
So far 284 firms have submitted bids for the valuation of the landed property including residential, commercial, institutional and undeveloped plots of land slated for disposal.
The Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Forfeited Assets, Muhammed Etsu, disclosed to journalists recently that 229 proposals were already received for the valuation of plants, motor vehicles, furniture, equipment and machinery while 75 companies submitted bids for the valuation of water vessels for disposal, and 25 companies presented their own bids for the valuation of jewellery, clothing materials and ornaments for disposal.
Etsu, who also doubles as the Solicitor-General of the Federation explained that the committee will make sure that all recovered assets are safeguarded by the relevant agencies with the transparency it deserves.
He also confirmed that the sub-committee on valuation and due process already conducted the technical evaluation of the bids received from interested valuers, adding that only clothing materials were available for valuation presently.
Diezani’s pieces of jewellery, he said, were still subject of litigation which was why they were not included in the process at the moment. He however called the attention of the successful valuers to endeavour to be thorough while doing their jobs.
Recall that Diezani served as Minister under former President goodluck Jonathan’s tenure and has since been in the United Kingdom since 2015, refusing to return to Nigeria.
The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa posited, before the House of Representatives in May that the jewelry seized from Diezani was worth N14bn.
The late Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was among the politicians whose property were also listed for valuation. His houses in Wuse 2 and Maitama High-end neighborhoods of Abuja were siezed and they include No 14 Adzope Crescent, off Kumasi Crescent; 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse 2; and 6 Umme Street, Wuse 2.