- Date Caught: September 2005
- Trade/Profession: Governor
- State: Bayelsa (Yenagoa)
- Accomplices: Goodluck
- Listed: April 12, 2014 5:58 am
- Expires: 998736 days, 7 hours
Nigeria Intel investigation has learned that the British government has requested the extradition of convicted former Bayelsa state governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to stand trial in Britain, a move that is being blocked by President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to sources close to the case, the extradition request was made earlier this year through the office of the Attorney – General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, who, incidentally has been trailed by numerous corruption allegations himself.
Nigeria Intel investigations also found that Mr. Adoke, on the instructions of President Jonathan is trying to keep keep the matter under wraps and has reportedly replied to the British authorities that Alamieyeseigha had no case to answer, having been granted a presidential pardon in March this year.
Detained in Britain
It will be recalled that Diepreye Alamieyeseigha had travelled to Europe for a ‘tummy tuck’ cosmetic surgery, but was detained in London on charges of money laundering in September 2005. At the time of his arrest, Metropolitan police found about £1m in cash in his London home. Following more investigations, they found a total of £1.8m ($3.2m) in cash and bank accounts.
In addition to cash, Alamieyeseigha was found to own several houses and other real estate in London worth tens of millions of pounds, but jumped bail in December 2005 allegedly disguising himself as a woman, a claim Alamieyeseigha denies.
Conviction and Jail
Shortly after his return to Nigeria, Alamieyeseigha was impeached by the Bayelsa state House of Assembly, thus losing his immunity. He was promptly arrested and flown to Abuja in handcuffs, where he was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). On July 26, 2007, Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty before a Nigerian court to six charges and was sentenced to two years in prison on each charge; however, because the sentences were set to run concurrently and the time was counted from the point of his arrest nearly two years before the sentences, his actual sentence was relatively short.
Many of his assets (totaling about N126 billion) were ordered to be forfeited to the Bayelsa state government. On July 27, just hours after being taken to prison, he was released due to time already served.
Case in the US
In June last year, the United States Department of Justice announced that it had executed an asset forfeiture order on $401,931 in a Massachusetts brokerage fund, traceable to Alamieyeseigha. US prosecutors filed court papers in April 2011 targeting the Massachusetts brokerage fund and a $600,000 Maryland home, which they alleged were the proceeds of corruption.
A motion for default judgement and civil forfeiture was granted by a Massachusetts federal district judge in early June 2012. The forfeiture order was the first to be made under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (KARI).
On 12 March 2013, Alamieyeseigha, who has retained a measure of popularity in the Niger Delta, particularly his home state of Bayelsa, was granted a presidential pardon by President Goodluck Jonathan, a move that drew sharp criticism from the public. Analysts believe that the move is not unconnected to Jonathan’s reelection bid next year, as well as Alamieyeseigha’s desire to run for senate.
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