Justice Abdulaziz Anka of Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture of 56 houses linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The houses, located in Lagos and Port Harcourt, were said to have been acquired by the ex-minister between 2011 and 2013 using front companies.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) listed the properties to include 29 terraced houses comprising eight four-bedroomed penthouse apartments, six three-bedroomed apartments, two three-bedroomed maisonettes, two twin bedroomed apartments and one four-bedroom apartment.
Others are: 16 numbers of four bedroom terrace, 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 numbers of 3 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 bedroom and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million and bought through Vistapoint property Development Ltd.
The EFCC had approached the court with an exparte motion 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.
Afyer liatening to the submissions of EFCC’s lawyer, Anselem Ozioko, Justice Anka granted the motion as prayed.
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.
“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 uncontrovertible evidence filed by the EFCC than to grant the application. The motion for final forfeiture is accordingly granted as prayed. All parties has a right of appeal”, Justice Anka held.
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).