The US government has seized a Rockville home belonging to former Bayelsa governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release last week Friday May 31.
Feds said they seized the home because the former governor bought the house using stolen state money. Alamieyeseigha was ordered to relinquish the $700,000 home on May 24, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Fedederal prosecutors claim Alamieyeseigha bought the Rockville property during his first term as governor �with funds obtained through corruption, abuse of office, money laundering and other violations of Nigerian and U.S. law.”
According to ICE, the title to the property was transferred to a shell corporation controlled by Alamieyeseigha.
Citing federal prosecutors, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Alamieyeseigha bought $8 million in properties around the globe with bribes he received while he was governor.
Alamieyeseigha, WSJ reported, denied the charges and offered a very different account than the Justice Department of how the house came into his possession. The article cites a 2011 affidavit in which Alamieyeseigha stated:
�I am not unaware of the monkey politics that is played in third�world countries like Nigeria with the active connivance of over�zealous individuals, agencies and government parastals (sic) touting�themselves as global ethics compliance monitors. The civil forfeiture action which was brought against the defendant�property in a quest to score cheap points as the global�watchdog should be dismissed.”
Read The Wall Street Journal’s story here.
In a news release, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said the seizure was made possible through DOJ’s Kleptocracy Initiative.
�Foreign officials who think they can use the United States as a stash-house are sorely mistaken,” Raman said in the news release.
Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges in 2007 � two years after he was impeached � and was sentenced to two years in prison, The Gazette reported. He was pardoned by Nigeria’s president in March.
And GEJ granted him pardon
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