Thursday, 1 March 2018

Court Orders Final Forfeiture of Diezani’s Ikoyi Properties To FG

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 ordered the final forfeiture of two property in Lagos belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-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, Lagos.

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

The Economic and Final Crimes Commission, EFCC, had, on February 5, 2018, filed a motion on notice dated February 2, 2018, 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, the lawyer to the respondents: Diezani Alison Madueke, Donald Chidi Amangbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Property Limited.

During today's sitting, the motion was taken and the lawyer to the respondent filed a response, stating that the property had earlier been transferred to the Federal Government.

Umezurike did not oppose the application for the final forfeiture of the property 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 property, which were suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.

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

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

The judge had also directed the Commission to publish the forfeiture in a national newspaper for the respondents or any interested person(s) to show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

She had, therefore, adjourned further hearing to December 15, 2017.

However, the order was eventually published in The Nation newspaper of December 20, 2017.

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