A Federal High Court, Lagos on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 ordered the permanent forfeiture of 56 houses situated in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja valued at $21,982,224 (about N3.3 billion) allegedly linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, to the Federal Government.
The trial judge, Abdul-Azeez Anka, made the order in response to a motion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking the permanent forfeiture of the property.
The anti-graft agency while urging the court to grant the motion argued that the property sought to be attached are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
Having listened to the submissions of EFCC’s counsel, Anselem Ozioko, Justice Anka granted the motion as prayed.
The forfeited properties include 21 mixed housing units of eight numbers of four bedroom penthouse apartment; six three-bedroom apartments; two three-bedroom apartments and one four-bedroom apartment, all ensuite and located at 7, Thurnburn Street and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba, valued at N937 million and bought through Chapel Properties Ltd.
Others are 16 four-bedroom terraces, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port Harcourt, River States, valued at N928 million and bought through Blue Nile Estate Ltd; 13 three-bedroom with one room maid’s quarter, situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million and bought through Azinga Meadows Ltd and six flats of three bedrooms and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million and bought through Vistapoint property Development Ltd.
In granting the motion, the judge noted that there was no response to the applicant’s motion on notice for final forfeiture by any of the respondents despite been served with the hearing notice.
Justice Anka said: “I have gone through the affidavit attached to motion for final forfeiture as well as the submissions of the EFCC’s counsel, A. B. C. Ozioko. The court has no option considering the incontrovertible evidence filed by the EFCC than to grant the application.
“The motion for final forfeiture is accordingly granted as prayed. All parties have right of appeal.”
Joined as respondents in the suit are Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (1st respondent), Donald Chidi Amamgbo (2nd respondent), Chapel Properties Limited (3rd respondent), Blue Nile Estate Limited (4th respondent), Azinga Meadows Limited (5th respondent) and Vistapoint Property Development Limited (6th respondent).
By Chinyere Obia