Lest we forget: Profile of Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha recently granted state pardon by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration
1. My names are Diepreye Solomon Peter (DSP) Alamieyeseigha. I am a former Governor of Bayelsa state, 29 May 1999- December 2005.
2. I am a powerful Nigerian politician, known as Governor General in ‘Ijaw nation’ of Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta; but have also been an ex convict, international fugitive, forger, and I have also jumped bail in London.
3. To refresh your memory, when I became Governor of Bayelsa State in Nigeria, I declared assets totaling US$575,000 and stated I had an annual income of N1,500,000 (US$12,000).
4. I was arrested at Heathrow Airport in September 2005 by the London Metropolitan police on charges of money laundering in September 2005. About £1m cash was found in my London home. Another £1.8m ($3.2m) was found in my bank accounts.
5. I was initially remanded in prison, and lumped in the same cell with a mad man. The Britons must have thought I was also a ‘mad man’ to have stolen so much.
6. I was later granted bail. But in breach of my 1.25 million pound bond, I jumped bail in December 2005, escaped from London with forged documents by disguising myself as a woman, and returned to Nigeria. It was like a movie.
7. The Bayelsa State House of Assembly in Nigeria served me a Notice of Impeachment on November 22, 2005. My offences included:
a. Maintaining foreign bank accounts while in office in the following banks viz: Barclays Bank Plc, London; National Westminster Bank, London; Royal Bank Of Scotland; and Commerz Bank, London contrary to the clear provisions of Paragraph 3 of the Fifth Schedule (Part 1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 the provisions of which I swore on oath to uphold.
b. Corrupt enrichment of my wife and children namely: Mr. Enetonbra Alamieyeseigha, Mr. Seleake Alam1eyeseigha, and Miss Embeleakpo Alamieyeseigha as disclosed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
c. Criminal diversion and misappropriation of public funds to facilitate acquisition of One billion Naira shares in Bond Bank PLc by private placement;
d. Purchase of Chelsea Hotel, Abuja for the sum of Two billion naira and;
e. Acquisition of £ 1 0 Million worth of properties in London.
8. The Bayelsa State of Assembly that Investigated me came out with the following findings in a report signed by Barrister David Serena-Dokubo Spiff (Chairman) and six others:
a. That I brought the exalted office of the governor of Bayelsa State to disrepute, odium and ridicule by jumping a London bail and returning to Nigeria dressed like a masquerade.
b. That I am an International fugitive as the Scotland Yard may issued a warrant of arrest against me which will embarrass the people of Bayelsa.
c. That by this ignominious conduct Bayelsans and indeed all Nigerians have been scandalized, embarrassed and depicted as people whose word cannot be relied upon.
d. That I jeopardized the safety and besmirched the reputation of Nigerians living in or visiting The United Kingdom.
e. That I dealt a severe blow to the Ijaw Nation of which Bayelsa is part, who traditionally takes great pride in the meaning of their name – Ijaw —- truth.
f. That by jumping bail Chief I breached my oath to respect international law.
9. The Bayelsa State House of Assembly subsequently impeached me from office on December 8, 2005 after adopting the report of the seven-man impeachment panel set up by the Chief Justice of Bayelsa State, Emmanuel Igonarwari. I was found me guilty of gross misconduct.
10. Subsequently, I was arrested by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), questioned, and charged with numerous money laundering and corruption offences.
11. The offences against me were overwhelmingly, and on 26 July 2007 I was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty before a Nigerian High Court to six charges of making false declaration of assets, and 23 charges of money laundering by my company. (See Ruling in FRN v Alamieyeseigha). Besides the jail sentences, the court ordered that my assets, including N1 billion shares be forfeited.
12. On December 13, 2005, the Federal Government filed a fresh 17-count charge against me at the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Kaduna. The charges included that as Governor of Bayelsa State between 29th May 1999 and 9th December 2005, I maintained and operated the following foreign personal bank accounts-
a. Account number 10659347 with Barclays Bank Plc, United Kingdom with a balance of GBP203,753.34 as at 15th February 2005;
b. Account number 3239940 with UBS Warburg AG, 1 Curzon Street, London, W1J 5HB with a balance of $2.5 million as at September 2005; account number 338931 in the name of FALCON INC. with UBS Warburg AG, 1 Curzon Street, London, W1J 5HB;
c. Account number 7341553/7341596 FOR us dollars with Barclays Bank Plc at International Banking Unit, 88 Dighemis Akritas Avenue 1644, Nicosla, Cyprus; account number 7341588 for GB pounds Sterling with Barclays Bank Plc at International Banking Unit, 88 Dighemis Akrltas Avenue 1644, Nicosia, Cyprus ;
d. Bank account number 5005220454-7 in Denmark with JYSKE Bank at Bseterbrogate, 9, DK-1780, Copeenhagen V with a balance of at $2.5 million;
e. Bank account number 005482562491 with Bank of America United States of America in the name of Peter Aklamleyeseigh with a balance of $160,000.00 all contrary to section 7 and punishable under section 23 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. Cap. 56 LFN 1990 as incorporated under paragraph 11, part 1, fifth schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
That I made a false declaration by not declaring the following properties:
a. Property known as Water Gardens, London W2 2DG which I bought at GBP1.75 million in the name of my company known as Solomon & Peters Ltd;
b. Property at 14 Mapesbury Road, London, NW2 4JB which you bought at GBP1.4 million;
c. Property at 14 Jubilee Heights, School Uphill, London, NW2 2UQ, which you bought at GBP241,000;
d. Property at No. 68-70, Regent’s Road, London, N3 bought at 3 million Pounds Sterling.
That I Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha while being the Governor of Bayelsa State between 29th May 1999 and 9th December 2005 acquired:
a. Property known as Chelsea Hotel Abuja worth of N2 Billion for which N1.5 Billion was paid;
b. Acquired two block of luxury flats at Plot 26 Bashir Dalhatu Close, Abacha Estate, Ikoyi worth of N45;
c. Acquired a property at John Kadiya Street, off Jose Marti Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja worth N350; million;
d. Acquired an Estate of six luxury duplexes at No. 1 Community, Road, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos worth N200 million
e. Failed to declare One Billion Naira worth of Shares acquired in Bond bank
f. Failed to declare the following properties:-
• Plot 916 & 917, Wuse II District, Abuja
• Plot 7, Cadastral Zone A6, Maltama Abuja
• Plot1267, Amazon Road, Abuja
• Plot 3375, cadastral Zone A6, Abuj
• Plot 1372-1374, Cadastral Zone A7, Wuse II, Abuja
• Plot 1281, cadastral Zone A4, Asokoro, Abuja
Thereby I committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. Cap. 56 LFN 1990 as incorporated under paragraph 11, part 1, fifth schedule of the 1999 Constitution and punishable under section 23 of the Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
13. Independent investigations carried out by the commission also revealed the following:
a. That I held a personal bank account with Barclays Bank Plc which was opened on 5 January 2004 and the balance stood at £203,753.34 as at 15th February 2005.
b. A personal bank account with HSBC, London, but the account was closed sometimes in March 2003 while all the money in the account was transferred to Santolina Investment Corporation’s account with National Westminster Bank, London.
c. I am the sole Director of Santolina Investment Corporation and sole signatory to the company’s account with National Westminster Bank with A/c No. 10182819 Sort Code 15-00-25 in London
d. I held personal account with Bond Bank in Lagos which was opened sometimes in January 2004 and the balance stood at N105-14.942.61 as at 16th September 2005 and another personal account in Oceanic Bank Plc (The Salo Trust) in the names of Enitonbrapa Alamieyeseigha, Embelakpo Alamieyeseigha, Ebipadei Alamieyeseigha, Oyamuyefa Alamieyeseigha, Saleaka Alamieyeseigha and Margaret Alamieyeseigha.
e. I held an account with Bank of America in the name of Peter Alamieyeseigha with account number 0054 8256 2491 which balance stood at $1, 600,000.00 as at August 2003.
f. I am a Director of an offshore company named Solomon & Peters Ltd (two middle names) and there are four (4) London properties bought and registered in the company’s name. These properties are:
• 247, Water Gardens, London, W2 2DG, which is the registered
address of Solomon & Peters Ltd. This property was purchased
for £1.75 million on 20/8/2003
• 14, Mapesbury Road, London, NW2 4JB. This property was
purchased for £1.4 million on 6/7/2001.
• Flat 202, Jubilee Heights, Shoot uphill, London, NW2 3LJQ,
purchased for the sum of £241,000.00 on 28/10/99.
• 68-70, Regent’s Park Road, London, N3 which was purchased in
July 2002 for the sum of £3 million.
• All the properties listed above have a combined value in excess of £S 381million
• A property at V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa worth over £1 millon.
• I own Royal Albatross Properties 67 a company registered in September 2005 in Cape Town, South Africa.
• I am the owner of a property in 504, Pleasant Drive, King Farm Estate, Maryland USA, and another one in 15859, Aurora Crest Drive, Whither, California, USA, 906
14. According to World Bank’s State Asset Recovery case (STAR), between May 1999 when I was elected Governor of Bayelsa state and December 2005 when I was impeached, I illegally accumulated (outside Nigeria) known properties, bank accounts, investments and cash exceeding £10m in value. The STAR case against me reads in part,
“Between the start of his period of office in May 1999, to late 2005, Alamieyeseigha accumulated (outside Nigeria) known properties, bank accounts, investments and cash exceeding £10m in value. His portfolio of foreign assets included accounts with five banks in the UK and further accounts with banks in Cyprus, Denmark and the United States; four London properties acquired for a total of £4.8m; a Cape Town harbour penthouse acquired for almost £1m, possible assets in the United States, and almost £1m in cash stored in one of his London properties. Some of the foreign assets were held in his name and that of his wife, but the bulk of them were held by companies and trusts incorporated in the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, South Africa, and Seychelle.’
15. In July 2006, British authorities returned $1.9 million of the illicit gains I made as Governor of oil-rich Bayelsa state in Nigeria.
16. On 2 July 2008, Nigeria obtained judgment over my stolen assets in London, Cyprus and Denmark.
17. On June 29, 2011, the US federal district judge in the state of Massachusetts ordered that I should forfeit the sum of N60m ($401,931) to the United States Government. I stole the amount from Bayelsa State between 1999 to 2005 and secretly kept it at a Massachusetts brokerage fund, before it was discovered by US prosecutors. I also lost another house I acquired in the state of Maryland, valued at N90m ($600,000) house that Alamieyesigha bought in the state of Maryland.
18. I also lost my properties in several other countries. In February 2006, the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa secured a court order to freeze my residential property on the Cape Town waterfront. I was found guilty of stealing N1.499 billion (USD11 million) from Bayelsa treasury to buy Chelsea Hotel Ltd in Abuja
19. I am still being probed by the governments of Britain, United States, South Africa, Bahamas and Seychelles as well as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank under the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (STAR) case.
20. In spite of all these, I was given a state pardon by the Council of State headed by my the administration of my godson President Goodluck Jonathan on March 12, 2013.
21. You may not be happy with this, but as, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the “That is an action that has been taken by the National Council of States and (there is) no apology for that’
22. I am now eligible to hold any Public office at the highest level, I may simply choose to return to my former post as Governor of Bayelsa in a future election, or I can contest for Senate and become the Senate President, or even contest for Nigeria’s Presidency in the future. You will vote for me, because I still have enough unrecovered looted funds to go round all potential voters!