Court orders final forfeiture of two houses linked to Alison-Madueke

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday ordered the final forfeiture of two properties in Lagos allegedly belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government.

The properties are: Pent House 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th floor (Bella Vista Estate) located at Plot 1, Zone N. Federal Government Layout, Banana Island, Ikoyi, and Lagos.

The other is Pent House 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate), located at Gerald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Economic and Final Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on February 5 filed a motion on notice dated February 2 seeking the final forfeiture of the properties to the federal government.

In the motion on notice, the applicant counsel, A. B. C. Oziokor, had sought the order of the court prohibiting any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the assets / properties, which are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.

Also, the applicant had sought the order of the court authorising the commission to appoint a competent person(s) or firm to manage the assets/ properties.

The motion on notice was served on Chima Umezurike, counsel to the respondents: Diezani Alison-Madueke, Donald Chidi Amangbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Property Limited.

During Wednesday’s sitting, the motion was taken and the lawyer to the respondent filed a response, stating that the properties had earlier been transferred to the federal government.

Mr. Umezurike did not oppose the application for the final forfeiture of the properties by the applicant counsel.

Consequently, Justice Mojisola, in her ruling, granted the applicant’s prayers accordingly.

The EFCC had, on December 5, 2017, filed an ex parte application seeking a temporary forfeiture of the properties, which were suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.

The application was supported by a 34-page affidavit deposed to by Abdulrasheed Bawa, an investigator with the EFCC.

In her ruling on the application, Justice Olatoregun had ordered the interim forfeiture of the property.

The judge had also directed the commission to publish the forfeiture order in a national newspaper for the respondents or any interested person(s) to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government. ( Premium Times)

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