The former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was convicted of fraud after he pleaded guilty to false declaration of assets and money laundering at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
He was subsequently jailed for two years with most of his assets confiscated. He spent most of his prison term in a hospital.
Mr. Alamieyeseigha, whom Mr Jonathan recently described as his political mentor, is a fugitive who jumped bail in the United Kingdom. He was first elected as governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in 1999 and re-elected in 2003 after his first term in office.
On September 15, 2005, while serving his second term, he was arrested at the London Heathrow Airport by the Metropolitan Police on the suspicion of money laundering. After he was granted bail, Mr. Alamieyeseigha jumped bail in December 2005 and bolted to Nigeria allegedly disguised as a woman after fooling U.K. border officials.
He was eventually impeached by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly in December 2005.
The U.K. authorities seized $1.5 million (N225 million) cash stashed in his London home as well as $2.7 million (N405 million) held in bank accounts at Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and Santolina Investment Corporation. His London real estate valued at $15 million (N2.25 billion) was also seized by U.K. authorities.
An adept criminal, Mr. Alamieyeseigha had spread his stolen monies across notorious tax havens and offshore destinations such as the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, and Seychelles. Others were hidden in the U.K. and South Africa.
“His scattered stolen funds posed some difficulty for anti-fraud agents who were keen on confiscating the slush fund. But after he pleaded guilty to money laundering at home, it opened the way for Economic and Finance Crime Commission, EFCC, to apply for a disclosure order for evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police. This was used alongside evidence of Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s income and asset declaration to obtain a worldwide restraint order covering all assets owned directly or indirectly by Alamieyeseigha and a disclosure order for documents held at banks and by Alamieyeseigha’s associates,” reports the World Bank’s Stole Assets Recovery initiative (STAR)
Also, with the help of South African detectives, he forfeited his luxury penthouse in South Africa. He also lost assets in Cyprus and Denmark.
List of assets and properties in the Code of Conduct Assets Declaration Form submitted by Mr Alamieyeseigha to the Code of Conduct Bureau in 1999 before becoming governor.
• Five buildings with a total value of N50 million.
• 25 plots with a total value of N2.5 million.
• He owns a company, Pesal Nigeria Ltd. with a capital of Nl00, 000.
• He has four vehicles he acquired between 1982 and 1998 with a total value of N10 million.
• He has an account with Diamond Bank Plc, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, A/C No. 0136900013 with a balance of N5 million.
•Cash in hand was N100,000.00.
His Assets Declaration Form signed on 25th of April, 2003 when running re-election, he disclosed that he has:
•Six buildings acquired between 1985 and 2002 with a total value of N70 million and annual income of N3.5 million.
•He has 27 plots acquired between 1985 and 2001 with a total value of N5 million.
•Six vehicles acquired between 1982 and 2003 with a total value of N14.8 million.
•One boat acquired in 2002 with a value of N2.5 million.
In his Assets Declaration Form signed on 2nd December 2003,
• Seven buildings acquired between 1985 and 2003 with a total value of N77 million and annual income of N4.5 million.
• Additional information on the buildings and plots revealed the following:
• 5, Khana Street, D/Line, P/H – Storey building,
• 5, Khana Street, D/Line, P/H – 3 Bedroom Bungalow,
• 4, Tombia Street, G.R.A., P/H – Detached Duplex,
• 2, Oniye, lyana Ipaja, Lagos – 5 bedroom bungalow,
• Amassoma – duplex/bungalow,
• Opolo, Yenagoa – Duplex
• 3, Williams Jumbo, P/H – Duplex
• lyana Ipaja, Lagos – 3 plots
• Isolo, Lagos – 1 plot
• NTARoad,P/H – 4 plots
• Yenagoa, Bayelsa – 17 plots
• Amassoma – 2 plots
Properties, companies and bank accounts in Nigeria and abroad acquired by Mr. Alamieyeseigha after assumption of office as the executive governor of Bayelsa State
i) That he holds a personal bank account with Barclays Bank Plc which was opened on 5 January 2004 and the balance stood at £203,753.34 as at 15th February 2005.
ii) He holds a personal bank account with HSBC, London, but the account was closed sometimes in March 2003 while all the money in the account was transferred to Santolina Investment Corporation’s account with National Westminster Bank, London.
iii) It was confirmed that he is the sole Director of Santolina Investment Corporation and sole signatory to the company’s account with National Westminster Bank with A/c No. 10182819 Sort Code 15-00-25 in London.
iv) He also holds personal account with Bond Bank in Lagos which was opened sometimes in January 2004 and the balance stood at N105-14.942.61 as at 16th September 2005 and another personal account in Oceanic Bank Plc, as follows:-
The Salo Trust in the names of Enitonbrapa Alamieyeseigha, Embelakpo Alamieyeseigha, Ebipadei Alamieyeseigha, Oyamuyefa Alamieyeseigha, Saleaka Alamieyeseigha and Margaret Alamieyeseigha.
v) He holds an account with Bank of America in the name of Peter Alamieyeseigha with account number 0054 8256 2491 which balance stood at $1, 600,000.00 as at August 2003.
vi) The sum of GBP 1350,000.00 being the annual premium for Insurance Policy No. 1E1/0405/0012/AR/HQ m respect of the Kolo Creek Power Station Yenagoa, has been traced in an account at Barclays Bank, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7NT, A/C No. 80041262, Sort Code 20-47-35, IBNrGB 87 BARC 2047 3580 0412 62 SWIFT BICGB22 held by a certain First Investment & Finance Corporation. The premium is for an All Risks Cover for the Gas Turbine for a period between 22/6/2005 and 21/6/2006.
Properties in London
•247, Water Gardens, London, W2 2DG, which is the registered
address of Solomon & Peters Ltd. This property was purchased
for £1.75 million on 20/8/2003
•14, Mapesbury Road, London, NW2 4JB. This property was
purchased for £1.4 million on 6/7/2001
• Flat 202, Jubilee Heights, Shoot uphill, London, NW2 3LJQ,
purchased for the sum of £241,000.00 on 28/10/99.
• 68-70, Regent’s Park Road, London, N3 which was purchased in
July 2002 for the sum of £3 million.
i) All the properties listed above have a combined value in excess of £S 381million
ii) He had almost £1.9 million in a Royal Bank of Scotland account belonging to his company Santolina for which he had requested to be transferred to an account in Cyprus.
iii) Four transfers to the tune of Euro 2.36 million were made from Bayelsa State Ministry of Works Account held by Allstates Trust Bank to Germany through Commerz Bank, London at a time when Chief D. S. P. Alarm eyesigha was receiving treatment in a German hospital.
Properties in South Africa
i) It has also been established that he owned a property at V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa worth over £1 millon.
ii) Royal Albatross Properties 67 is a company registered in September 2005 in Cape Town, South Africa. This company is also believed to be owned and controlled by Chief Alamieyeseigha.
Properties in the United States
i) 504, Pleasant Drive, King Farm Estate, Maryland USA,
ii) 15859, Aurora Crest Drive, Whither, California, USA, 906
Earlier today PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported that President Goodluck Jonathan, who was Mr Alamieyeseigha deputy in Bayelsa State, will present a memo at the Council of State meeting requesting pardon for Mr Alamieyeseigha, and some “nondescript northerners.”
The Council of State at its meeting, attended by three former heads of states and some state governors, approved the pardon.
Mohammed Shettima Bulama
Mr. Bulama is a former Managing Director of bank conglomerate, Bank of the North, owned by the 19 northern states of Nigeria.
Under Mr. Bulama, the bank endured unprecedented fraud and large scale mismanagement, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Depositors’ funds were indiscreetly loaned to powerful government officials and traditional rulers, in a criminal scheme that left Mr. Bulama with the hubris of invincibility. Those close to the former bank chief say he believed peoples’ monies in the hands of influential allies, will keep him out of trouble while he cornered some himself.
Eventually, he was prosecuted and jailed by the EFCC under former chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, for malpractices totaling N683 million.
The charge read as follows:
“Being the former managing director of Bank of the North between January and April 2003 in Kano within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did grant an overdraft facility of N433, 000,000 to yourself above your limit through account No. CS4800-2001 at the Nasarawa branch of the Bank of the North, Kano and thereby committed an offence, contrary to section 19(1) (b) punishable under section 20(1) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act No. 18 of 1994 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.”
Count two read: “…on or about April 25, 2003 in Maiduguri within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court granted an overdraft facility of N100,000,000.00 credit facility to yourself through the account of one, Mustapha Bulama at the Maiduguri branch of the bank in contravention of the procedure laid down by Bank of the North and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 19(1)(c) punishable under section 20(1)(a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act No. 18 of 1994 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.”
The third count read: “…on or about March 26, 2003 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did steal N150,000,000.00 (one hundred and fifty million naira) the property of the Bank of the North and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap 77 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 read in conjunction with section 3(1) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act No. 18 of 1994 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.”
The late Yar’adua was the older brother to late President Umaru Yar’adua. Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua was former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters-a de facto deputy under the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo from 1976- 1979.
After retiring from the military, Mr. Yar’adua became a frontline politician, and the earliest initiators of what later became the current People’s Democratic Party. In 1995, Mr. Yar’adua was arrested and charged in what was widely seen as framed coup charges under the dictatorship of Sani Abacha.
He was sentenced to life in prison by a military tribunal in 1995, after calling on the Nigerian military government of Mr. Abacha and his Provisional Ruling Council to allow civilian rule. He died in captivity on 8 December 1997.
Oladipo Diya is a former military governor, a General Officer Commanding, and a former Chief of Defence Staff. He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.
In 1997 Mr. Diya was accused of leading dissident soldiers in an attempted coup to overthrow the dictatorship of Sani Abacha.
Mr. Diya was tried in a military tribunal, and given the death penalty. Mr. Diya was released from jail after the death of Mr. Abacha.
He has spent most of his time attempting to recover possession of various properties seized by the government on his arrest. He has made no attempt to explain how he purchased these lavish properties on the salary of a Lieutenant General.
The former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, died on Saturday at the age of 62.