A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court Tuesday approved the forfeiture to the Nigerian government of a plot of land in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The land allegedly belongs to the former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Chuka Obiozor, the judge, gave the decision following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the EFCC, the land, measuring 7,903.71 – 8,029.585 square metres and situated as Plot 9, Azikiwe Road, Old GRA (UAC Property on Forces Avenue), Port Harcourt, was reasonably suspected to be part of proceeds of unlawful activities.
The respondents in the application include Mrs Alison-Madueke, Donald Amangbo, and Sequoyah Property Limited.
In their deposition before the court, the EFCC said Sequoyah Property Limited is the company used to transfer and hold the title document for the property.
It added that the company was registered in 2011 with one Chukwudinma Nwako and Olisa Eloka Nwaku as shareholders and directors; and that both names are fictitious.
The commission prayed the court for an order to allow it “to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the asset/property.”
It urged the court to prohibit “any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the asset/property.”
The counsel to the EFCC, Ebuka Okongwu, argued that the judge had the power, pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006, to make the forfeiture order.
After listening to the lawyer, Mr Obiozor granted the order as prayed by the lawyer.
The forfeiture order came barely a week after another federal judge granted an interim forfeiture to the Nigerian government of jewellery valued at $40 million allegedly belonging to the former minister.
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