Diezani Permanently Forfeits N2.6bn Properties To FG

A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, ordered permanent forfeiture of several properties valued at N2. 611, 592, 199 billion, scattered between Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, Rivers state, linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The properties ordered to be forfeited included: a 21 mixed-housing units of 8 numbers of four bedrooms penthouse apartment; six numbers of three bedrooms apartments; two numbers of three bedrooms apartment and one numbers of four bedrooms apartment, all ensuite, located at 7, Thurnburn Street, and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba, valued at N937 million.

Also, a 16-four bedrooms terrace, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, valued at N928 million.

And another 13-three bedrooms with one room maid’s quarter, situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million; and six flats of three bedrooms and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo way, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million.

The court presided over by Justice Abdulaziz Anka, had sometimes in August 2, 2017, made an order of temporary forfeiture of the said properties, while granting an Ex-parte application marked FHC/L/1279/17, filled before the court by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

In the suit, the EFCC had listed the former petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke: Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo; Chapel Properties Limited; Blue Nile Estate Limited; Azinga Meadows Limited; and Vistapoints Property Development Limited.

Apart from order of temporary forfeiture of the said properties, Justice Anka, also ordered the EFCC to publish the said order in a National newspaper within 14 days. While also ordered anyone who have interest in the said properties to come before the court within 14 days that the order was made.

Prior to the order of permanent forfeiture of the said properties, Justice Anka had dismissed an application filed by the third, fourth and sixth respondents through their lawyer, Mr. Emmanuel Bassey, seeking discharge of the temporay forfeiture order of the court, on the ground that the EFCC did not serve the order his clients personally.

But EFCC lawyer, Anselem Ozioko had responded that there was no such order mandating the EFCC to serve the Ex-parte application on the respondents, argued that the companies involved have no directors and do not even exist.

An affidavit attached with the Ex-parte application, and deposed to by Sambo Muazu Mayana, an investigator with the EFCC averred that sometimes in 2016, an intelligence report was received against both Diezani and Amamgbo, and that upon analysing the intelligence report, a search warrant was executed at the office and premises of Amamgbo.

The deponent also averred that among the documents recovered from Amamgbo was an undated report titled “Highly Confidential Attorney Work Product- August Report”.

He stated further that in the said ‘highly confidential report contained 18 companies and several Properties located in United Kingdom (UK), Nigeria and United State of America (USA).

The EFCC added that in the course of interview, Amamgbo had informed the agency that he registered the 18 companies to assist the former Petroleum Minister, in holding title of the temporary forfeited properties.

The deponent then urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.

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