Alamieyeseigha could be paid billions by Nigeria based on court ruling, lawyers say

Former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha

Mr. Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa State, received a presidential pardon.

Former Bayelsa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, may be paid billions of naira, the value of the assets seized from him after his conviction for money laundering.

President Goodluck Jonathan had granted Mr. Alamieyeseigha a presidential pardon, rendering the former Bayelsa State governor a freeman.

While Mr. Alamieyeseigha was convicted, properties he acquired from his money laundering regime were seized, and most of them sold by the federal government.

After his pardon, since his rights and privileges will be restored according to Nigerian law, it is uncertain if he will retrieve the items or the value of the items he corruptly acquired from the Nigerian government.

Some lawyers say the presidential pardon bestowed on Mr. Alamieyeseigha grants him fresh rights to the items he acquired with wealth he stole. All, however, condemned the pardon granted the fugitive, who is still wanted in the U.K. for jumping bail after he was arrested for money laundering.

Though both the Federal Government and Mr. Alamieyeseigha are yet to speak on the forfeited property, lawyers said the former Bayelsa Governor has a case to demand the return of his forfeited property and may infact go to court for same.

Should he achieve success in court, and since the property have largely been disposed off, the federal government may pay billions of naira in lieu of the property.

He should get the property

Activist lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said the precedence of an Appeal Court ruling on what pardon means, implies Mr. Alamieyeseigha can ask for his asset to be returned and actually get them.

“This is the implication of a full pardon,” he said.

Mr. Falana cited the case of Olu Falae versus Obasanjo, where Mr. Falae challenged the eligibility of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to contest for presidential election in 1999 saying the former military head of state was not granted full pardon by the then military junta.

“According to the Court of Appeal in the case of Falae V Obj, it means that a man who has been pardoned is a new man (homo novus) in the eye of the law. The conviction and sentence are wiped out and he is entitled to the full restoration of his rights and privileges as well as the return of his seized assets,” Mr. Falana said.

While challenging the result of the presidential 1999 election, Mr. Falae had argued that Mr. Obasanjo did not get “full pardon” from Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar after his conviction for involvement in the 1995 coup plot and therefore is not qualified to contest the election.

But the Court of Appeal while dismissing Mr. Falae’s argument had ruled that:

“The word used under Section 161 (1) and Exhibit 11 is “pardon”, and in this context, pardon may be with or without any conditions. It is clear from Exhibit 11 that the pardon granted to the 1st Respondent was not made subject to any conditions. In my view, under the Nigerian law, a “pardon” and ”full pardon” have no distinction. A pardon is an act of grace by the appropriate authority which mitigates or obliterates the punishment the law demands for the offence, and restores the rights and the privileges forfeited on account of the offence. The effect of a pardon is to make the offender, a new man (novus homo), to acquit him of all corporal penalties and forfeiture annexed to the offence pardoned. I am of the view, that by virtue of the pardon contained in Exhibit 11, the disqualification of the 1st Respondent was to suffer because of his conviction, has been wiped out.”

Lagos lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, also argued in his article that based on the Appeal Court’s ruling, which was not upturned by any superior court, Mr. Alamieyeseigha can demand the return of his asset. He said the ruling of the court suggests that Mr. Alamieyeseigha is free to make a claim for the property or their value.

The other side of the argument

Some other lawyers, however, disagree with this interpretation.

“The forfeitures were made before the pardon was granted, so what happens if the properties forfeited to the Federal government have been sold to a third party,” asked activist lawyer, Bamidele Aturu.

“When you forfeit something, it is what you forfeit that you will get back. Those goods have been forfeited to the Federal Government there is no way this act of pardon can release that. So I don’t know by what legal abragadabra that anybody will say that the forfeited goods should be handed over to him unless they want to perpetrate serious fraud on Nigerian people. Those properties have been forfeited and forfeited for life,” he added.

Another lawyer, Charles Musa, said forfeited asset cannot be returned to their former owners irrespective of a presidential pardon. But he said Mr. Alamieyeseigha can contest this in court.

“If you have suffered any punishment, the punishment remains,” Mr. Musa said.

“It’s left for his lawyers to argue that. He can go to court but I doubt if he will succeed. What of those who served time, can they get the time back?” he questioned.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which successfully prosecuted Mr. Alamieyeseigha would not comment on its possible response should the ex-governor demand his seized

The commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, did not respond to calls or text messages sent to him on the subject.

The presidency has aggressively defended President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to pardon Mr. Alamieyeseigha, while Nigerians and the international community have condemned the pardon granted the former governor.

The National Council of States headed by Mr. Jonathan, had last week Tuesday, pardoned Mr. Alamieyeseigha and seven others.

Below are the asset seized from Mr. Alamieyeseigha and which he could claim back.

Assets fraudulently acquired by Alamieyeseigha forfeited to the state

a. Account number 10659347 with Barclays Bank Plc, United Kingdom with a balance of GBP203, 753.34 as at 15th February 2005;

b. Account number 3239940 with UBS Warburg AG, 1 Curzon Street, London, W1J 5HB with a balance of $2.5 million as at September 2005; account number 338931 in the name of FALCON INC. with UBS Warburg AG, 1 Curzon Street, London, W1J 5HB;

c. Account number 7341553/7341596 FOR us dollars with Barclays Bank Plc at International Banking Unit, 88 Dighemis Akritas Avenue 1644, Nicosla, Cyprus; account number 7341588 for GB pounds Sterling with Barclays Bank Plc at International Banking Unit, 88 Dighemis Akrltas Avenue 1644, Nicosia, Cyprus ;

d. Bank account number 5005220454-7 in Denmark with JYSKE Bank at Bseterbrogate, 9, DK-1780, Copeenhagen V with a balance of at $2.5 million;

e. Bank account number 005482562491 with Bank of America United States of America in the name of Peter Aklamleyeseigh with a balance of $160,000.00

a. Property known as Water Gardens, London W2 2DG which I bought at GBP1.75 million in the name of my company known as Solomon & Peters Ltd;

b. Property at 14 Mapesbury Road, London, NW2 4JB which you bought at GBP1.4 million;

c. Property at 14 Jubilee Heights, School Uphill, London, NW2 2UQ, which you bought at GBP241,000;

d. Property at No. 68-70, Regent’s Road, London, N3 bought at 3 million Pounds Sterling.

Chelsea Hotel Abuja worth of N2 Billion for which N1.5 Billion was paid;

Two block of luxury flats at Plot 26 Bashir Dalhatu Close, Abacha Estate, Ikoyi worth of N45;

c. Acquired a property at John Kadiya Street, off Jose Marti Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja worth N350 million;

An Estate of six luxury duplexes at No. 1 Community, Road, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos worth N200 million

One Billion Naira worth of Shares acquired in defunct Bond bank

• Plot 916 & 917, Wuse II District, Abuja

• Plot 7, Cadastral Zone A6, Maitama Abuja

• Plot1267, Amazon Road, Abuja

• Plot 3375, cadastral Zone A6, Abuja

• Plot 1372-1374, Cadastral Zone A7, Wuse II, Abuja

• Plot 1281, cadastral Zone A4, Asokoro, Abuja

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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 (The Salo Trust) in the names of Enitonbrapa Alamieyeseigha, Embelakpo Alamieyeseigha, Ebipadei Alamieyeseigha, Oyamuyefa Alamieyeseigha, Saleaka Alamieyeseigha and Margaret Alamieyeseigha.

d. 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.

• 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.

All the properties listed above have a combined value in excess of £S 381million

• A property at V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa worth over £1 million.

• Royal Albatross Properties 67 a company registered in September 2005 in Cape Town, South Africa.

• A property in 504, Pleasant Drive, King Farm Estate, Maryland USA, and another one in 15859, Aurora Crest Drive, Whither, California, USA, 906


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  • UsaveOne

    Haha! NIGERIA = Bitter Kola…!

  • Adamolekun

    mpitikwelu/afam/Yussuff/deri/concernigerian but you all asked Nigerian citizens why they reject the pardon to a criminal. Please tell Oga president Jonathan that this is why we Nigerian citizens reject the parodn. With this I think it is wrong NOT to return the seized properties of the fraudulent 419 boys and girls and the fraudulent yahoo yahoo boys and girls. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The 419 boys and girls have rights too.

    • merci

      Thank you, at least they did not disguise as their opposite sex because they want to sneak out of a country that wants to charge them on criminal charges, if Alams can be freed then our small yahoo boys and girls need bigger pardons and their Lappies, loots given back to them. I tire for uncle Jona o!

  • NNAMDI

    WHEN SOME BODY IS A NEW MAN OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY.IN THIS CASE ALAMS CAN NOT GET BACK THOSE PROPERTIES WERE BOUGHT WITH STOLEN PUBLIC MONEY.HE OF COURSE CAN ONLY GET HIS PROPERTIES BOUGHT BEFORE THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED

  • ekpene

    hmmmmhmmm hmmmmm hmmm Na wa o! So the argument will not be the criminality and immorality of the pardon. The argument will be “oh he can not get the propert he bought with stolen money, but he can get the one he did not buy with stolen money…”!!! broda NNAMDI < Can you please inform Nigerians how to draw that line? Can you kindly inform Nigerian citizens why a congenital criminal like Alamieyeseigha will not argue to blur the false distinction you are trying to create? Cant you see that this is what happens when President Jonathan took a criminal and immoral step and create a false dilemma(where there ought to be none) by granting a criminal pardon. NNAMDI, I think there is the need for a re-think for this whole thing is well laid out by President Jonathan and his immorality.

    • In 1983, Marc Rich was indicted along with his partner, Pincus Green, and their companies on 65 counts of defrauding the I.R.S., mail fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, defrauding the Treasury and trading with the enemy. (The last of these was for an oil deal with Iran while it held American hostages.) On hearing that they were about to be prosecuted, they fled to Switzerland. For the next 17 years, Mr. Rich ducked extradition requests as well as attempts by federal marshals to arrest him in France, England, Finland and elsewhere. Though his companies pleaded guilty and paid $200 million in fines and other penalties, as well as racketeering charges Mr. Rich a fugitive came to be pardoned by President Clinton. So where did GEJ go wrong can somebody tell me! Even in America no to talk of Nigeria-

      • Bankole Babawale

        Deri_na_Mpitikwelu-perhaps the difference is that the criminal
        Alamieyesigha is in league with two other Nigerian Senators to help him
        screen off the property he used the laundered money to buy in Maryland
        USA, perhaps the difference is that the criminal Alamieyeseigha is in
        league with prominent characters in President Jonathan’s govt to
        continue to perpetuate corruption in our country-and we Nigerians do
        not like that because we want to join the civilised world. Perhaps the
        difference is that President Clinton did not say he did not have any
        apology to make to American citizens while President Jonathan said he
        did not have any apologies to make to Nigerian citizens. Perhaps the
        difference is that President Clinton did not say people responded to his
        action because he is a white American while President Jonathan said
        people rejected his criminal pardon of a thief like Alamieyeseigha
        because the criminal Alamie is from Bayelsa state and he the immoral
        President is also from bayelas state-thereby for THE FIRST TIME IN THE
        HISTORY OF NIGERIA A SITTING PRESIDENT USED HIS MOUTH TO SET NIGERIANS
        AGAINST ONE ANOTHER -and yet he claims to be President of ALL Nigerian
        citizens. Perhaps the difference is that Nigerians saw President
        Jonathan’s desperation when he forgot and actually pardoned a a male
        rapist-of four young boys!!!. afam-deri-mpitikwelu I know you collect
        money for these posts. But what is not good is not good. tell your
        oga-President Jonathan that. It smells. I know you guys are used to the
        Aso Rock, Jonathan Presidency stench, it smells to you no more. But it
        is smelly to common Nigerian citizens. Anyway those are the
        differences.

  • In 1983, Marc Rich was indicted along with his partner, Pincus Green, and their companies on 65 counts of defrauding the I.R.S., mail fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, defrauding the Treasury and trading with the enemy. (The last of these was for an oil deal with Iran while it held American hostages.) On hearing that they were about to be prosecuted, they fled to Switzerland. For the next 17 years, Mr. Rich ducked extradition requests as well as attempts by federal marshals to arrest him in France, England, Finland and elsewhere. Though his companies pleaded guilty and paid $200 million in fines and other penalties, as well as racketeering charges Mr. Rich a fugitive came to be pardoned by President Clinton. So where did GEJ go wrong can somebody tell me! Even in America no to talk of Nigeria-

    • Mamman Bako

      Copied and pasted!

      • In 1983, Marc Rich was indicted along with his partner, Pincus Green, and their companies on 65 counts of defrauding the I.R.S., mail fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, defrauding the Treasury and trading with the enemy. (The last of these was for an oil deal with Iran while it held American hostages.) On hearing that they were about to be prosecuted, they fled to Switzerland. For the next 17 years, Mr. Rich ducked extradition requests as well as attempts by federal marshals to arrest him in France, England, Finland and elsewhere. Though his companies pleaded guilty and paid $200 million in fines and other penalties, on his many racketeering charges Mr. Rich a fugitive came to be pardoned by President Clinton. Notr i Nigeria-they socalled regionalist-will continue to coin all sorts of fake names-to support their quest to enslave the SS-we shall resist dem to our death!

    • titus

      Let me add some humor to your post. The thief Alamieyeseigha laundered the money and used it to buy property in Maryland USA, Rich did not use his own to buy property in Maryland Lagos!!! ha ha ha ha ah !!! Continue to explain President Jonathan’s immorality. The days are being counted.

    • igbiki

      Jonathan can never do wrong but his days as the president of Nigera are numbered.

      APC + Malabu oil + Subsidy sharing + Pardon + Fuel price hike = Bye Bye Jonathan Before

      2015.

      • Chief Igbiki aka tundemess-nee wahala! Buhari pardoned alhaji alhaji-ex CBN governor who came into the country with tonnes of dollars bills-instead jailed fela-the same buhari freed Uba Ahmed an NPN scribe who was apprehended at MMA-upon his arrival from Nondon-the Son of Alhaji Dantata-Mohamed Dantata was arrested for drug trafficking in the USA-and deported under escort by the American CIA into the waiting hands of Buhari-He was unchained hrs after the yankees left-by buhari! In all of these examples I have cited, not a single man or woman from the south or south south per sey-was ever released or pardoned by buhari -Those arrested by Buharis task force on petroleum products in the South south, died in his gulag! -want more? Buhari it was who said he will never allow the SS enjoy the 13 pwercent derivation-during his visit to Edo state-in 2003. I s that yr man? Again how can Alams steal what belongs to him? So dont u ever call Alams a thief again! u think 9jas are fools-such that they will go and waste their time for buhari again-was Buhari not the one who said he has thrown the key to our democracy into the atlantic ocean-when he was questioned by Tai Soalrin-is that not why he locked him up-is it tinubu a drug baron and a certificate forger that I should go and die for-in 2015-u must be joking

        • igbiki

          I am not for Buhari or Tinubu or Jonathan or APC or PDP or whatever, and I am neither tundemess. I am for the best for Nigeria and if we can’t get it right, lets call it a day and go our own ways.

          I am also for free market forces i.e., if someone thinks he ain’t getting any values from coca-cola, he has the right to try pepsi.

          Nigerians have the right to have other choices outside Mr Jonathan and the PDP.

    • Philemon A.

      Marc ‘s pardon was controversial as well and it was granted just before Clinton left office. In the US controversial pardons are usually done twenty four to forty hours before a sitting president leaves office. In any case that Marc was pardoned in the US does not make Alams pardon to be morally right. The circumstances are different. ,

    • Because an american president did something inappropriate(he was roundly condemned when he did it)our president too is free to do the same.

  • When Madan Waziri, pleaded with Ribadu to come and explain where the money that accrued from the Crystal Hotel which Ribadu Seized from Alams and contracted out to his friends was kept-Ribadu used the media to lie that efforts were being made to assassinate him-he relied on the press from the South West, to harass Madam Waziri b4 the USA embassy in Abuja, hurriedly arranged his departure from Nigeria to the USA. Now they are back-with their smelly vomit to hunt Alams-Who then is afraid of Alams recovering his properties back from Ribadu? The only person who seems to be urinating in his pants is no other individual than Ribadu himself! Why cause he has already sold most of the properties to himself-and his pals-When President Clinton pardoned March Rich on a 65 count charge-his properties in Switzerland where not confiscated–his money was not touched-why because the presidential pardons are designed by the founding fathers of America to un-convict WHITE felons-and not African Americans-same as their brothers from the creeks-No shaking for Jonah-we hail thee-Nigeria supports u! Except the few thieves from the old regions of the country-

    • MaryAnne

      I think the Chief Rogue in Aso Rock eventually sacked Madam Waziri. Can you tell us why? We love to know!!!

      • Afam

        who sacked madam waziri? yaradua did
        are u just here to make a comment and go?

        • MaryAnne

          sorry mpitkwelu, I did not there is difference. eh eh eh so difference dey? tell me now afam_na_deri. I dey wait oooo and I dey laf oooo!!!

        • MaryAnne

          baby Afam no vex I beg. which one? Yar adua senior? Yar adua 1 or Yar adua 2? I beg which one. I just dey sleep when I write dat ting!!! I dey laf ooooooo!

          • Afam

            sorry i was wrong but still Waziri was removed from her position by President Goodluck Jonathan on 23 November 2011 and replaced by Ibrahim Lamorde as acting chairman. Her dismissal may have been related to accusations that the EFCC had been selective in its investigations, or to her falling out with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke over the prosecution of cases that were brought before the court.It was also alleged that Waziri might have compromised the investigation into financial mispropriety against the former governor of Bayelsa state,Timipreye Sylva[17] In some cases, as with a case against former Edo State governor Lucky Igbinedion, the court imposed negligible penalties. However, the EFCC may have opened the door by agreeing to accept a plea bargain

          • MaryAnne

            ah afam_na_Ugwu_Mpitikwelu_na_Jonathan, you were right, you were wrong, Na yar adua, na Jonathan, yar adua 1, yaru dua 2, Jonathan 1 , Jonathan 2 ah ah ah ah ah I am loving it. I just dey laf jeje my own. Anything you say is correct my boy. Caaaaarryyy GO! Four more years of corruption in the land! We must make Alamieyeseigha the Chiarman of EFCC to make it more effective.

    • A-Z

      @Deri Orbuka, it was Chelsea Hotel, not Crystal Hotel, which was forfeited to government and in line with the order of court, the EFCC handed it back to Bayelsa State government. Farida and YarÁdua were only bent on carrying out the Ibori agenda to cripple EFCC, hence the targeting of Ribadu and all those who worked with him. Get your facts straight and stop spewing inanities!

  • solomon

    Hmm…… All of these wealth and not even one investment to create employment for the poor? It shows how poor at heart these people at the top are! By the way; How many of the wealth will go with him when he dies at the end of his time? These people have refused to think, of what use is the money you refuse to use to impact in the life of others? Shame on all that is trying to justify his pardon as we all know his acts does not deserve it.

  • Solomon

    Hmm…… All of these wealth and not even one investment to create employment for the poor? It shows how poor at heart these people at the top are! By the way; How many of the wealth will go with him when he dies at the end of his time? These people have refused to think, of what use is the money you refuse to use to impact in the life of others? Shame on all that is trying to justify his pardon as we all know his acts does not deserve it.

    • Deinde Fadahunsi

      Look Solomon, let me tell you one thing. I live abroad. I am Nigerian. Some of us know the children of these people for their children are here. Do you know the worst thing Solomon? The chlldren of these robbers, these criminals in President Jonathan’s govt DO NOT associate themselves as Nigerians!!! That is the truth. While some of us are proud Nigerians trying to market a positive image of Nigeria in the diaspora, the children of these criminals would walk away. yet their thieving parents, their criminal parents who are ministers under Jonathan loot Nigerian money to sustain these children abroad. That is the problem. Their parents demoralise us at home thru their criminality, their children demoralise everyone in school abroad BY THEIR CONSCIOUS REFUSAL TO ASSOCIATE WITH NIGERIA yet they steal Nigerian money to sustain themselves. Can you beat that?

      • Jimmy

        You are right Deinde. We know them by their names and faces. Some of them even try to work on their TONGUES to be able to speak different in a funny way to hide their identity. Sometimes they betray their accent when they forget and they speak naturally. When you then ask “are you Nigerian?” They stammer and run!!! I know them too. I did not know that you have the same experiences with the criminal children of these criminals. We will keep en aye.

  • igbiki

    No be only!

    Make dem carry am go England make e collect im propertty wey dey there.