SaharaReporters has found that a £4.5 million mansion belonging to the notable oil tycoon from Ghana, Kevin Okyere, provides a connection between him and the recently arrested former Nigerian Minister for Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and her ongoing 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. In the registration document obtained by SaharaReporters, Springfield Ashburton Ltd did not disclose its objectives, however, it was one of the indigenous companies chosen by Mrs. Alison-Madueke to benefit from generous contracts to lift Nigerian crude oil in 2014 barely two years after it was incorporated.
Also, in February 2014, Mr. Okyere hurriedly registered a company “Springfield Oyoko Ltd” in London, appointing himself as Managing Director. He also appointed an Italian woman, Ms. Maria Luisa Cicognani and a Ghana-based Indian woman, Ms. Gena Punjabi as co-directors.
On August 30th, 2014, Mr. Okyere terminated the directorship of Ms. Cicognani, for undisclosed reasons. Ms. Punjabi remains on the board of several companies owned by Mr. Okyere.
In September 2014, Mr. Okyere changed the address of his newly formed company to number 14A Studio and Garage, St Johns Wood Road from its original address at 145-157 John Street, London, England EC1V 4PW. As the Nigerian presidential elections approached first in February 2015 (later postponed till March 28, 2015), Mr. Okyere applied for the dissolution of the company in London.
On October 2, 2015, agents of the UK National Crime Agency busted Ms. Melanie Spencer at the address of Mr. Okyere’s Springfield Oyoko Ltd (now dissolved) with the sum of £10,000. The UK anti-corruption unit approached the Westminster Magistrate Court in London with an application asking to freeze Ms. Spencer's £10,000 until April 2016. The application was granted.
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.
Mr. Okyere is using his influence to suppress media reports about his relationship with Diezani Alison-Madueke by suing select Ghanaian publications, including The New Statesman, The Al-Hajj, the Herald, and The Republic. His legal threats spread across to Nigeria where online publications that mentioned his name have been forced under threat to uproot the stories from their servers.
A source in the UK government told SaharaReporters that they have developed extensive leads to Mrs. Alison-Diezani’s corrupt deals and those of her collaborators. One of our sources stated that Mrs. Alison-Maduke’s corruption has an “Imelda Marcos” dimension to it that would shock the world whenever her trial commences.
A Nigerian lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe, who serves Mrs. Alison-Madueke, issued a statement last week stating that the former minister has cancer. He later told our reporter that the former Minister would be undergoing surgery for breast cancer sometime this week.