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Diezani, seven ex-governors, others to lose Dubai assets

With the signing of a pact by the Federal Government and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday, the coast is clear for the Federal Government to seize assets of 22 politically exposed persons and businessmen in Dubai.

The funds traced to them, which are believed to have been looted, are to be frozen and repatriated to Nigeria.

According to the Nation, all the 22 former political leaders and businessmen are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The ratification of the six agreements between the two countries delayed the seizure of the assets, The Nation learnt yesterday.

From the records at the Land Registry in the UAE, most of the properties have been traced for forfeiture with the UAE authorities.

Under investigation are seven former governors,  seven ex-ministers, four businessmen, a former  chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a former Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, a former presidential assistant indicted in the $2.1billion arms deals and  a former First Lady who  allegedly used fronts to acquire some choice properties.

Two of the assets have been traced to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was implicated by the United States Department of Justice as a beneficiary of $1.5billion laundered cash.

Also under searchlight are about five luxury properties allegedly linked with a former official of the defunct Oceanic Bank.

Following a state visit to the UAE by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, 2016 , the Federal Government signed six agreements with the Emirates.

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