Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, brother of the late President, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and former Chief of General Staff, Oladipo Diya were among those granted state pardon on Tuesday (today).
The Council of State, unanimously approved the list of those pardoned.
The Council of State, which is comprised of the President, Vice President, all state governors, former Presidents, the Chief Justice of the Federation, the Senate President and Speaker, amongst others.
Others granted pardon include Major Bello Magaji (rtd), Mohammed Lima Biu, Shettima Bulama, Major Geeneral Abdulkareem Adisa (Post Humous) and Major Segun Fadipe (rtd) respectively.
Diepreye Peter Solomon Alamieyeseigha was elected Governor of Bayelsa State in May 1999 as a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party. Later re-elected in 2003, his second term of office was intended to run until May 2007, but was cut short by impeachment on allegations of corruption in December 2005. Investigations by the Proceeds of Corruption Unit of the London Metropolitan Police led to his arrest in September 2005, where he was charged with three counts of money laundering.
At the time of his arrest, Metropolitan police found about £1million in cash in his London home. Later they found a total of £1.8m ($3.2m) in cash and bank accounts. He has been found to own real estate in London worth an alleged £10 million. His state’s monthly federal allocation for the last six years has been in the order of £32 million. He jumped bail in December 2005 from the United Kingdom by allegedly disguising himself as a woman, though Alamieyeseigha denies this claim.
After three weeks in custody, Alamieyeseigha was released on bail on conditions including the surrender of his passport, the payment of USD 2.6 million to the English High Court in sureties, and daily reporting to the police.
On July 30, 2007, M.L. Shuaibu, a judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, sentenced him to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the charges.
After the former governor was impeached, prosecuted and jailed in Nigeria for corruption and his assets, valued at about £17.7 million confiscated, the Federal Government went ahead to institute proceedings against him, his wife, Margaret, and two of his companies in a bid to seize his assets in the United Kingdom.
President Jonathan recently described him as his political mentor. He was his (Jonathan’s) former boss.