There is an interesting twist to Diezani Alison Madueke’s trial. Nigerian online news platform, SaharaReporters has found that a £4.5 million mansion belonging to the notable Ghanaian oil baron, Kevin Okyere, provides a connection between him and the recently arrested former Nigerian Minister for Petroleum Resources her on-going legal battles.
On Friday October 2, 2015 Diezani Alison-Madueke was arrested, along with four other individuals ages 30-60, by agents of the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) for financial crimes of bribery and money laundering, according to a press release by the NCA.
The following Monday, October 5, UK police officers filed for the seizure of £27,000 found with Mrs. Alison-Madueke by British authorities under the powers enshrined in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Beatrice Agama, Alison-Madueke’s mother, also had £5,000 and $2,000 detained. A third individual, Melanie Spencer, similarly had £10,000 detained by British authorities operating under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Since the detention of these funds, SaharaReporters has found that Melanie Spencer, implicated in the NCA’s ongoing investigations with Alison-Madueke, is a resident at 14A St Johns Wood Road, NW8 8RE in London. Further investigations by SaharaReporters have revealed that this property was purchased on May 30, 2014 by one Kevin Okyere, who has close ties with Mrs. Alison-Madueke, for the astonishing sum of £4.5 million.
According to UK Land Registry documents obtained by SaharaReporters, the purchase was financed by the Standard Bank Isle of Man Ltd. Law enforcement agents in the UK told our reporter that the loan obtained from the bank in the Isle of Man is highly suspicious as it shows that Mr. Okyere was using the loan to hide his money laundering activities.
During her stint as Minister, Mrs. Alison-Madueke used Mr. Okyere in interfacing with industry operators, directly appointing him as a personal assistant in 2014. Mr. Okyere’s Springfield Energy Ltd was one of the indigenous companies cited in a $40 billion annual contract awarded by Mrs. Alison-Madueke in April 2014.
In June 2012 in Abuja Mr. Okyere incorporated “Springfield Ashburton Limited” located at No 8 Nyasa Close, Off Mississippi, Off Ontario Crescent, Maitama, Abuja with a share capital of N1million. The company had as co-directors,Ms. Gena Punjabi and Adetola Sarah Mary Olufemi. SaharaReporters claims.
Mr. Okyere, like Mrs. Alison-Madueke, is the deep pocket for Ghanaian political gladiator of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mr. Okyere is married to Melanie Spencer, a niece of Rebecca Akufor -Addo, the wife of the NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Akufor-Addo. Melanie Spencer is the daughter of a former Ghana Airways pilot, Powis Spencer, according to SaharaReporters investigations.