A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, allegedly diverted $153,310,000 (about N46.6billion) from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alleged.
The commission, in a bid to recover the money, applied to the Federal High Court for its temporary forfeiture.
Justice Muslim Hassan, before whom the application was brought, on Friday ordered the temporary forfeiture of the money.
EFCC said the money is stashed in three banks in Nigeria.
The banks have been directed to supply proof that the money was not stolen or risk losing it permanently to the Federal Government.
The three banks allegedly hiding the money are Access Bank Plc, First Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc, EFCC said.
The former minister is said to have connived with the banks executives to hide the loot.
EFCC said the banks aided and abetted the massive fraud perpetrated by the ex- minister.
According to the commission, Access Bank is holding $5million out of the total sum.
Sterling Bank has the largest chunk of it, as it is currently hiding N23, 446, 300,000 for the ex-minister, EFCC said
The sum of N9, 080,000,000 is in First Bank Plc, the commission added.
On how she diverted the money, EFCC told the court that in December 2014, the ex- minister invited former Fidelity Bank Managing Director, Nnamdi Okonkwo, to her office.
There, they allegedly hatched a plan on how $153,310,000 would be moved from NNPC to Okonkwo to be saved for Diezani.
EFCC said the former minister instructed Okonkwo to ensure that the money was not easily traced.
She asked him to guarantee that the money would “neither be credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms” of Fidelity Bank.
The commission said Okonkwo accepted and implemented the deal. (The Nation)