Port Harcourt’s Le Meridien Hotel was allegedly purchased by Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former petroleum resources minister, using First Bank of Nigeria Executive Director (ED), Dauda Lawal. Lawal who was picked up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) two weeks ago has reportedly returned huge amounts of money laundered through him by Diezani. He is said to have returned millions of dollars to the EFCC as the agency prepared to let him go. Lawal is also believed to have facilitated the purchase of Le Meridien Hotel in Port Harcourt on behalf of the Alison Madueke.
While investigators reportedly tried to seize the hotel, the presidency pushed for the refund of the money from its owners, sources said. It was learnt that the owners paid back an amount that was said to be close to N18billion into the federal government recovery account. Meanwhile, in a similar development, UK detectives recently arrived Nigeria in a bid to gather more evidence against Diezani Alison-Madueke. Diezani is under investigation in the UK over the missing $20billion oil cash, phoney crude oil lifting contracts, $115million poll bribery money, the $1.092b Malabu oil deal and the N5.2billion ($25m) oil cash paid by an Indian oil firm for an oil block.
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