The money laundering and asset recovery section of the United States department of justice has begun proceedings to seize a mansion owned by Kola Aluko.
The DoJ has initiated proceedings at the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas to seize the mansion which is valued at $25 million and located in Los Angeles.
According to Africa Intelligence, the US government told the court that the mansion was bought to “launder ill-gotten gains” from Nigeria.
Aluko, an ally of Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former minister of petroleum resources, has been the subject of various investigations in Nigeria and abroad for allegedly taking part in shady oil contracts.
The US government, represented by Joshua Lee Sohn, said the Los Angeles mansion was acquired through “specified illegal activity” that justifies its confiscation.
The property, which was acquired in 2012, is a luxurious mansion of 1,400 square metres of land and comes with an infinity pool.
Apart from the application to seize the mansion, the DoJ is also on a hunt for assets acquired on American soil by Aluko and Jide Omokore, another Diezani ally.
The duo, Aluko and Omokore, reportedly won major service contracts with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through their company, Atlantic Energy Oil.
The DoJ said the duo received multiple shipments of crude at knock-down prices, resold to trading giants at comfortable profits and invested the proceeds in high-end real estate.
The department said Aluko also bought three other mansions in the US through shell companies, one in Beverly Hills worth $15 million and two in Santa Barbara valued at $33 million.
However, these properties have not yet been involved in seizure proceedings.