Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-52
Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (South Africa)
Nigeria
Governor (1999-2005)
South Africa
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2005
2007
Art.15, Art.19, Art.20, Art.23
Yes
Non-Conviction Based Confiscation
Unknown
Unspecified
The use by South Africa's Asset Forfeiture Unit of non-conviction based confiscation proceedings allowed the authorities to seize property by demonstration of the illegal origin of the funds used to acquire it, but before the criminal prosecution concluded in Nigeria. (Source: StAR Case Study, "Diepreye Alamieyeseigha").
Completed
Unspecified Amount [proceeds from sale of property in 2007]
No
NA

In February 2006, the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa secured a court order to freeze a residential property belonging to Mr. Alamieyeseigha on the Cape Town waterfront. An application to freeze, first the rental income from the apartment and later his interest in the apartments themselves, was successful. United Kingdom's High Court also notes that (Mr. Alamieyeseigha's corporate vehicle) Santolina Investment Corporation's bank statements from the "principal Royal Bank of Scotland account where a sum of GBP949,000 was paid out, apparently to acquire a property." (Sources: Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative Case Study, "Diepreye Alamieyeseigha." Republic of Nigeria v. Santolina & Ors., [2007] EWHC 3053 (QB), Judgment dated December 3, 2007). Funds were returned to Nigeria following the sale of the property in January 2007.  According to an article by attorneys Tim Daniel and James Maton, who had represented Nigeria in the UK civil proceedings, "Nigeria successfully intervened in the proceeding seeking an order for the return of the proceeds of sale."  (Source: James Maton and Tim Daniel, "The Kleptocrat's Portfolio Decisions," in Draining Development? Controlling Flows of Illicit Funds from Developing Countries, Peter Reuter, ed., (The World Bank, 2012) at 433-434.)

According to the December 3, 2007 UK High Court decision in Nigeria v. Santolina Investment Corp and Ors, Mr. Alamieyeseigha entered a guilty plea in Nigeria's High Court to six counts of making false declaration of assets. According to the same judgment, Mr. Alamieyeseigha was arrested at Heathrow Airport in September 2005 by officers of the Metropolitan Police and initially remanded but later granted bail. In breach of his bail requirements, he left UK and returned to Nigeria in November 2005. (Source: Nigeria v. Santolina Investment Corp and Ors, [2007] EWHC 3053 (Q.B.))  In March 2013, he was pardoned in Nigeria. (Source:  BBC News, "Nigeria pardons Goodluck Jonathan ally, Alamieyeseigha," March 13, 2013.)

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Federal High Court (Lagos)
The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa, Asset Forfeiture Unit
The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa, Asset Forfeiture Unit; Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP (James Maton, Tim Daniel)
Unknown