Even politicians are smart enough to know that real estate is one of the best areas to invest embezzled funds in. As a proof, most of the assets fished out by the Buhari administration from such politicians are dominated by property/real estate assets.
In the last one year, the EFCC has traced assets and items worth about $10billion to Mrs Alison-Madueke (former minister of Petroleum Resources) and her business associates, Mr Kola Aluko and Chief Jide Omokore. Sometimes, I even wonder whether such politicians have special advisers on embezzlement matters.
Some of the assets discovered include an $18million property in Abuja (over N6.3 billion at N350 exchange rate). A top EFCC source has said – according to a news in the Nigerian newspaper, The Nation –
“We have located some assets allegedly owned by Diezani and some of her business associates in the United States. We are already collaborating with the US Government to attach these assets. In fact, the EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, spent about one and a half weeks in the US to work with the relevant agencies to trace Diezani’s properties, some of which are believed to have been secured through business fronts like Kola Aluko. We have submitted relevant documents to the US authorities in order to facilitate the seizure of the assets.”
Responding to a question, the source added:
“Some of these properties were acquired through some business fronts like Aluko and Omokore…we even have discovered houses on a street in Switzerland which have been traced to an associate of Diezani.”
My thoughts: If the N6bn is invested in providing affordable housing for Nigerians, it would really go a long way. Or, even if it is used to provide free housing, it would be more reasonable than properties owned by an individual who can only live in one at a time.
Therefore, I believe as the Buhari government retrieves property assets that have been embezzled, it should give priority to the less-privileged – people without adequate shelter. Such people are all over the place and only if you’ve had a midnight outing will you discover them.