The once political godfather of Jonathan before he became a President, found himself in troubled waters in the UK. Alamieyeseigha jumped bail. He beat the British justice system that was trying him for money laundering and fraud. And he is believed to have pulled off that stunt by costuming as a woman.
But he never truly escaped. The specter of the British law, in the form of Alams’ own fears, haunted him till death. His blood pressure shot up and provoked a fatal crisis when he heard the rumor that Buhari was set to extradite him to London.
His protege, Goodluck Jonathan, exercised the presidential power of pardon in reward to the man who drafted him into politics. That brought Alams minimal relief but could not save him in the long run.
Alamieyeseigha escape from the UK
A Nigerian state governor was back in trousers and at his desk after dressing up as a woman and skipping bail in Britain on charges of laundering £1.8m in 2005. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha returned to his home village a folk hero after apparently escaping Europe in a dress and on a forged passport. Crowds cheered and waved leaves to welcome back the governor of Bayelsa state and a newspaper, ThisDay, published a photomontage of him in a red dress, necklace, headdress, and lipstick.
“Today I am back at my desk, forever committed to serving the people of Bayelsa and Nigeria. I thank the almighty God for his protection,” said Mr. Alamieyeseigha.
The governor was arrested at Heathrow airport in September 2005 and had his passport confiscated. He faced three money-laundering charges after police found £1m in cash at his London address and property in his name worth £10m.
Alamieyeseigha’s account on how he returned to Nigeria
Having returned to Nigeria on a weekend – forfeiting a £1.25m bail bond – he’s expected to be immune from legal action until his term as governor ends in 2007. Mr. Alamieyeseigha was coy when asked how he evaded British controls to make it back to his village in the Niger delta. “I don’t know myself. I just woke up and found myself in Amassoma.”
Newspapers quoted unnamed aides who described a journey in drag. Dressed as a woman, the governor is said to have taken a Eurostar train from London to Paris and then flown to Douala, a port city in Cameroon neighboring Nigeria, where a speedboat took him home under cover of darkness. The disguise was helped by the fugitive’s weight loss during his stay in Europe, which included a tummy tuck operation in Germany.
Thousands lined the streets to cheer his cavalcade through the province but elsewhere several thousand people marched in protest at his return.
The former Governor’s crime
The economic and financial crimes commission, part of the federal government’s anti-corruption drive, hinted that it would seek to prosecute him. “What I feel bad about is that Nigeria is viewed as a safe haven for people to be protected,” said Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the commission’s chairman.
Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a former governor of a Nigerian state who gained notoriety for building extravagant public works and embezzling as much as $55 million in Oil Ministry revenue, spending it on luxuries and homes around the world, died on a Saturday 10 October 2015 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He was 62. His death, at a hospital, was announced by Bayelsa, the oil-rich Nigerian state that he governed from 1999 until he was impeached in 2005. The cause was given as complications of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s health problems resulted from his transfer from a hospital in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to avoid being extradited to Britain, where he was wanted on money-laundering charges and for skipping bail, according to his successor, Gov. Seriake Dickson. He was also charged with money laundering by the United States. Nonetheless, Mr. Dickson said Bayelsans “is proud of his life and the legacies he left behind.”
As governor, Mr. Alamieyeseigha brought Nigeria’s notoriety as a source of global flimflam to a new level years ago. Nigerian politics boasts the highest concentration of crooks in the world! Nigerian politics is a gold rush stampede. A crazy society where the popular philosophy is that life has meaning only to the degree that it is used to amass money.
This is a country where treasury looters steal dirty and save dirtier!