Court orders forfeiture of $4.7m, N830m,properties linked to Emefiele

A FEDERAL High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of $4,719,054, N830,875,611, and several properties linked to the embattled former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

The Presiding judge, Justice Yellim Bogoro gave the order on Thursday, May 23, 2024, after taking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)‘s counsel’s submission. 

His ruling followed an ex-parte application by counsel of the Commission, Bilkisu Buhari.

The ICIR  reports that the anti-graft agency sought an interim forfeiture of the monies and properties from the court, citing Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

EFCC requested the court of: “An Interim Order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the funds warehoused in the accounts particularized in Schedule ‘A’ which funds are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria Properties provided in 2nd Schedule ‘B’ which are proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Order directing the publication in any National Newspaper, the interim order under reliefs 1-2 above, for anyone interested in the properties and funds sought to be forfeited to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties and funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, passing his ruling on the case, Bogoro, held he found merit in the application and further granted the commission’s prayer.




     

     

    “The applicant should publish this order in any daily newspaper circulating all over the federation for anybody interested to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made. Case adjourned to July 2, for motion for final forfeiture,” he said.

    The monies forfeited to the federal government in the interim were said to be warehoused in First Bank; Titan Bank and Zenith Bank, being operated by Omoile Anita Joy; Deep Blue Energy Service Limited; Exactquote Bureau De Change Ltd; Lipam Investment Services Limited; Tatler Services Limited; Rosajul Global Resources Ltd and TIL Communication Nigeria Ltd.

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    His properties forfeited to the federal government include 94 units of an 11-floor building under construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (Formerly Club) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, 11-floor office space, situate on 1E, Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1, Esa Street, Imoore Land purchased with (Deep Bive Industrial Town, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos; and two properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, Closed PFA Fund, Block B.Lot twin completed property in Lakes Estate, Lekki, Lagos.

    Others include One plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm, at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa, LGA; Estate located at 100, Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, Owned by Lipam investment Services; a Land at 1, Bunmi Owulude Street, (Maruwa), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos and a property situate on 8, Bayo Kuku Road, lkoyi Lagos.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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