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Fed. High Court, Lagos, orders interim forfeiture of N2.6bn assets linked to Diezani

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Court orders permanent forfeiture of Diezani's N3billion property

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday ordered the interim forfeiture of N2.6bn assets allegedly belonging to former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke.

The order by the court on Tuesday involved 58 houses linked to the former minister and located in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. She allegedly acquired the properties between 2011 and 2013 using front companies.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Diezani allegedly paid $21,982,224 for the properties. It added that the fund was evidently proceeds of crime.

The properties as listed by the EFCC 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-bedroomed apartment.

Diezani was said to have purchased the houses located at No. 7, Thurnbull Street and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba, for the United States dollar equivalent of N937 million through Chapel Properties Ltd.

Also seized are 16 four-bedroomed terraced houses in Heritage Court Estate, Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu, Government Residential Area (GRA) Phase 1 Extension, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, purchased for N928 million through Blue Nile Estate Ltd.

There are also 13 three-bedroomed terraced houses with one-room maid’s quarters ensuite for N650m through Azinga Meadows Ltd.

The anti-graft agency therefore in an ex parte application brought before Justice Abdulaziz Anka on Tuesday through its counsel, Mr. Anselem Ozioko, asked the judge to order the temporary forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government.

Consequently, the judge granted the temporary forfeiture order and directed that a firm should be appointed to manage the properties. Also, the EFCC was ordered to publish the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper.
The judge then adjourned the matter till September 8, 2017 for any party interested in the properties to appear before the court to give reason why the temporary forfeiture order should not be made permanent.

First to sixth respondents listed in the suit are Diezani, Donald Amamgbo, and four firms – Chapel Properties Limited; Blue Nile Estate Limited; Azinga Meadows Limited; and Vistapoint Property Development Limited.
The court had also earlier this month ordered a permanent forfeiture of a $37.5 million property linked to the former minister.

 

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