A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, ordered final forfeiture of two penthouses linked to a former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
On December 5, 2017, the Presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered an interim forfeiture of the properties after an exparte (without notice) application, was filed and argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s, EFCC, legal officer, Anslem Osioko.
Listed as respondents in the said application marked FHC/L/CS/1793c/17, were Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties Ltd.
The court on Dec. 5, 2017, ordered interim forfeiture of the following properties:
“Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11 floor, Bella Vista, Banana Island, Ikoyi and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty “Estate) also in Ikoyi, be forfeited to the Federal Government, pending the conclusion of EFCC investigation’’.
When the case was mentioned on Wednesday, EFCC legal officer, Mr Anzlem Ozioko appeared for EFCC while Mr Emmanuel Bassey, appeared for the second, third, and fourth respondents.
Addressing the court, Ozioko told the court that he had a motion on notice brought pursuant to the provisions of the EFCC Act, the 1999 Constitution, as well as under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
He urged the court to order a final forfeiture of the properties listed in the schedule of application filed before the court.
Relying on the depositions in the affidavit deposed to by EFCC operative,Abdulrasheed Bawa, Ozioko submitted that it was now pertinent for a final forfeiture order to be made, following the interim orders made on December 5, 2017.
He told the court that in compliance with the earlier orders of the court, the interim orders were advertised in the Nation Newspaper of December 20, 2017.
He urged the court to order the said properties to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria and an order, prohibiting any disposal mortgage or sale of the said properties mentioned in the application.
Besides, Ozioko also urged the court to authorise the EFCC to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the properties.
In response, counsel to the respondents, Bassey, told the court that he had filed a counter-affidavit before the court and was not opposed to the application for final forfeiture.
In her ruling, Olatoregun granted the orders as prayed, and ordered a final forfeiture of the said properties.
“I have observed the facts and exhibits attached and I am also mindful that the second, third and fourth respondents have no objections to the application.
“I therefore, have no hesitation in ordering a final forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government,” she ruled.
In its affidavit, the commission stated that during investigation into the ownership of YF Construction Development and Real Estate Ltd., one Fadi Basbous, volunteered extra-judicial statement.
He said that Basbous stated that the two properties which were sold at 3.6 million dollars and 1.2 million dollars respectively, were owned by Sequoyah Properties Ltd., and Schillenburg LLC.
The deponent also stated that payments for the penthouses were made by one Angela Jide-Jones and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd., respectively.
The deponent further stated that Angela Jide-Jones is the wife of Jide Omokore, while Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd., was registered in the name of Jide Omokore.
The deponent also stated that Jide Omokore paid for the properties through his wife and one of his companies and directed its developers to sign the agreements with Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties Ltd, which were linked to Alison-Madueke.
He said that Schillenburg LLC was registered in Hongkong and transferred to Donald Chidi Amamgbo as sole owner.
According to the deponent, Sequoyah Properties Ltd., was registered in Nigeria on Oct. 11, 2011 with fictitious names as shareholders and directors