A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State has ordered the final forfeiture of assets worth about N3.4 billion linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The judgement delivered by Justice Abdulaziz Anka on Wednesday in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission affects assets located in Lagos and Rivers states and Abuja.
It followed the failure of the respondents in the case to submit any counter affidavit to the motion seeking permanent forfeiture of the properties. The respondents were also not in court when the judgement was delivered.
The respondents include Mrs. Alison-Maduekwe (first respondent), Donald Chidi (second respondent), Chapel Properties Limited (third respondent), Blue Nile Estate Limited (fourth respondent), Azinga Meadows Limited (fifth respondent), and Vistapoint Company Limited (sixth respondent).
The lead counsel to EFCC, Anselum Ozioko, had earlier informed the court that the anti-graft agency had already advertised in national newspapers in Nigeria for bids by organisations interested in managing the properties.
Mr. Ozioko had moved a motion on notice dated September 14 and filed on same day for the final forfeiture of the asset and properties attached to the motion and such order as the court may wish to make.
He said the motion was in accordance with section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act 2006 and 44(2B) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended).
The EFCC counsel said the grounds for his request included: “Statutory power of the court to grant the final forfeiture of the said properties, the properties are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity and the court earlier granted a temporary forfeiture of the properties”.
The properties include:
- 21 mixed housing units of eight four-bedroom (en-suite) terrace units,
- Two three-bedroom (en-suite) penthouse apartments,
- Six three-bedroom (en-suite) apartments,
- Two three-bedroom (en-suite) maisonette,
- Two two-bedroom (en-suite) apartments, and
- One four-bedroom (en-suite) apartment, all located at 7 Thurnburn Street and 5 Raymond Street Yaba, Lagos and registered in the name of Chapel Properties Limited and were valued at N937 million; and in Heritage Court Estate in Overall Street, Diobu Government Residential Area Phase 1 Extension, Port Harcourt in Rivers State, valued at N928 million.
- 16 four-bedroom terrace house, and
- 13 three-bedroom terrace house with a one-room maid’s quarters en-suite per unit; located in Mabushi Gardens Estate Plot 1205 Canasta Zone B06, Abuja and valued at N650 million; and
- Six flats of 3-bedroom and one boys quarters each, lawn tennis court, gym, matured garden and its appurtenances, located in Plot 808 (135) AWOLOWO Road, Ikoyi Lagos and valued at N805 million.
According to the court documents, all the properties are estimated to be worth N3.4 billion (N3,451,592,199).