A Federal High Court on Wednesday in Lagos ordered final forfeiture of two penthouses linked to a former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had earlier On Dec. 5, 2017, ordered an interim forfeiture of the properties after an exparte application, was argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC’s application, marked FHC/L/CS/1793c/17, has as respondents, Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties Ltd. The court had on Dec. 5, 2017, ordered interim forfeiture of the following properties: “Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11 floor, Bella Vista, Banana Island, Ikoyi and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, be forfeited to the Federal Government, pending the conclusion of investigation”.
When the case was called up on Wednesday, ABC Oziokor announced appearance for the EFCC while Emmanuel Bassey, appeared for the second, third, and fourth respondents.
Addressing the court, Oziokor informed the court that he had a motion on notice brought pursuant to the provisions of the EFCC Act, the 1999 Constitution as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the court. He urged the court to order a final forfeiture of the properties listed in the schedule.
Relying on the depositions in the affidavit deposed to by one Abdulrasheed Bawa, Obiozor argued that it was now pertinent for a final forfeiture order to be made, following the interim orders made on Dec. 5, 2017.
He informed court that in compliance with the earlier orders of the court, the interim orders were advertised in the Nation Newspaper of Dec. 20, 2017.
He urged the court to cause the said properties to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government and an order, prohibiting any disposal mortgage or sale of the said properties mentioned in the application.
Besides, Oziokor also urged the court to authorise the EFCC to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the properties.
In response, counsel to the respondents, Bassey, informed the court that he had filed a counter-affidavit before the court and was not opposed to the application for final forfeiture.
In a short ruling, Olatoregun granted the orders as prayed, and ordered a final forfeiture of same. “I have observed the facts and exhibits attached and I am also mindful that the second, third and fourth respondents have no objections to the application.
“I therefore, have no hesitation in ordering a final forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government,” she ruled.