• 16 four-bedroom terrace at PH valued at N928m
• 13 three-bedroom at Abuja valued at N650m
• 6 flats of three-bedroom at Ikoyi valued at N805million
• 21 housing units in Yaba, Lagos valued at N937million
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered that 56 properties in Lagos, River States, Abuja which were valued at N2.62billion and linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
Justice AbdulAziz Anka gave the order while granting the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1279/17. The application was argued by the lawyer to the EFCC, Mr. Anselm Ozioko.
The EFCC had approached the court through an ex- parte interim forfeiture application, stating that the properties belonging to Diezani and her associates were proceeds of corruption.
The EFCC had also named Mrs. Diezani, Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo; Chapel Properties Limited; Blue Nile Estate Limited; Azinga Meadows Limited; and Vistapoints Property Development Limited as co- respondents in the suit.
The properties ordered to be temporary forfeited to the Federal government include: 21 mixed housing units of 8 numbers of four-bedroom penthouse apartment; six numbers of three-bedroom apartments; two numbers of three-bedroom apartment and one number of four-bedroom apartment, All Ensuit, located at 7, Thurnburn Street, and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba, valued at N937 million.
Other properties are 16-four bedrooms terrace, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port-Harcourt, River State, valued at N928 million; a 13-three bedrooms with one room housemaid’s quarter, situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million; and six flats of three-bedroom and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos valued at N805 million.
The EFCC had alleged that the properties were purchased by Diezani and her associates, Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, through four companies; namely; Chapel Properties Limited; Blue Nile Estate Limited; Azinga Meadows Nigeria Limited; and Vistapoint Property Development Limited.
In an affidavit attached with the ex-parte application and deposed to by Sambo Muazu Mayana, an investigator with the Agency, the EFCC averred that sometimes in the year 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 agency also averred that among the documents recovered from Amamgbo was an undated report tltled “Highly Confidential Attorney Work Product- August Report”.
Mayana stated further that in the said ‘highly confidential report contained 18 companies and several properties located in United Kingdom (UK), Nigeria and United States, adding that in the course of interview, Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, he told the EFCC that he registered the 18 companies to assist Diezani in holding title of the temporary forfeited properties.
He further stated that investigation into the ownership of the said properties indicates that the FBN Mortgage Limited was the last owner on the three of the properties
The deponent also stated that payment for the properties were received by FBN Mortgage Limited at various times from 2011 to June 16, 2015, adding that First Bank of Nigeria Plc stated in a letter that the source of the monies was from Diezani and that the bank picked up United States Dollars from her house located at 10, Frederick Chiluba Close, off Jose Martins Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and that $3.342,307million was credited into FBN Mortgage Limited account number 2008133531.
He further stated that First Bank of Nigeria Plc, in its extra judicial statement made by its Head of Public Sector Group, also confirmed that N840 million, equivalent of $5.540, 318million, transferred to Skye Bank by one Adeyemi Edun, was picked up on May 23, 2011, from Diezani’s house at 10, Fredrick Chiluba Close, off Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja, and same was transferred on Diezani’s instruction by Skye Bank in favour of Adeyemi Edun on the same day.
The deponent therefore urged the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.
In his verdict over the matter, Justice Anka ordered that the above listed properties should be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge also ordered the EFCC to appoint a competent person(s) or firm to manage the temporary forfeited assets/properties.
Justice Anka further directed EFCC to notify the respondents in whose possession the assets/properties sought to be forfeited are found to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge also directed the EFCC to make the publication of the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper for the respondents and anyone who is interested in the properties to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final forfeiture order of the properties should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.