Court or­ders fi­nal for­fei­ture of $37.5m man­sion linked to Diezani

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Nu­rudeen Oye­wole, La­gos

The Fed­eral High Court sit­ting in La­gos has or­dered im­me­di­ate for­fei­ture of $37.5 mil­lion man­sion in Ba­nana Is­land La­gos, al­leged to be owned by the former Min­is­ter of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Ali­son-Madueke.

In a rul­ing de­liv­ered by Jus­tice Chuka Obio­zor yes­ter­day, the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 said to have been re­alised as rents on the prop­erty were also or­dered to be for­feited to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) had ear­lier brought be­fore the court a mo­tion on no­tice ask­ing for the per­ma­nent for­fei­ture of the man­sion. The per­ma­nent order sought by the anti-graft agency was se­quel to the tem­po­rary seizure ear­lier se­cured.

The court had di­rected that the tem­po­rary for­fei­ture order on Build­ing 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Lay­out, Ba­nana Is­land Fore­shore Es­tate, said to have 24 apart­ments, 18 flats and six pent­houses be pub­lished in a news­pa­per and then ad­journed till yes­ter­day for any­one in­ter­ested in the prop­erty and funds to ap­pear to con­vince the court why they should not be per­ma­nently for­feited.

But at re­sump­tion of pro­ceed­ing, coun­sel to the EFCC, Anse­lem Ozioko in­formed the court that the pub­li­ca­tion order had been com­plied with, but that de­spite all ef­forts to per­son­ally serve the sec­ond and third re­spon­dents in the case, Afame­funa Nwokedi, and a com­pany, Rusim­pex Lim­ited, they did not show up in court to con­test the for­fei­ture order.

In his rul­ing, Jus­tice Obio­zor said the man­sion had to be for­feited to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

The EFCC had ear­lier told the judge how its in­ves­ti­ga­tions es­tab­lished that Diezani pur­chased the prop­erty some­time in 2013 at $37.5 mil­lion, in­sist­ing that the money was moved straight from Diezani’s house in Abuja and paid into the seller’s First Bank ac­count in Abuja.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.