The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that the Federal Government would soon auction some of the properties recovered from the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke .
EFCC acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, made the disclosure yesterday during a Press/ Stakeholders briefings on crusade against cyber crime and fraudsters in Lagos.
He said some of Diezani’s properties and others forfeited by high profiled fraudsters, politicians and scammers would be auctioned in a transparent manner and in line with international practices.
Magu ,said the era of auctioning forfeited properties without due process is gone, adding that before any forfeited properties would be auctioned , due process must be strictly followed.
He said local and international professional auctioneers would be invited to evaluate the forfeited properties before they would be auctioned publicly.
He said that the process would kick off in Port Harcourt, River State, with the auctioning of 242 trailers and tankers recovered from internet scammers.
Magu stated that the auctioning of forfeited properties in Port Harcourt has reached the advanced stage with the involvement of all the necessary stakeholders and experts who should have input or contribution in the process .
He expressed displeasure at the manner courts used to auction forfeited properties at peanuts.
“The idea of selling recovered proceed of crime for peanuts is bad. This time around, we are not going to tolerate it.
“The era of auctioning forfeited properties at gross devalued prices is gone. We are going to do everything possible to know the real value of any forfeited property and we will invite professional and merchants in the area to tell us the actual prices and the current worth and go back to the court to give reasonable price for every forfeited property before auctioning it,” he said.
Speaking on Diezani’s forfeited jewelry, Magu, said internationally certified’ auctioneers would auction the $40 million (about N14.4 billion) jewellery .
In September this year, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered that the 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m and recovered from the Abuja home of Mrs Diezani, be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Diezani who was appointed the minister of petroleum resources on April 12, 2010, according to findings by the EFCC showed that she allegedly started acquiring the jewellery in 2012 from Bukola Oyewumi of Trinket Box Bespoke Jewellery at Ikeja City Mall, Alausa and others.
Giving account of the commission’s achievement on fight against cybercrime, Magu disclosed that the aim of the anti-graft agency was not only to arrest suspect ,but to destroy their criminal network through intelligence gathering.