Alleged fraud: Court orders forfeiture of $4.7m, N830m, multi-billion naira properties linked to Emefiele

A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has issued an order for the temporary forfeiture of $4,719,054 and N830,875,611, as well as certain properties connected to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

The Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction were the grounds upon which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) requested the court’s intervention for the interim forfeiture.

The former CBN governor was ordered to turn over the assets on Thursday by Justice Yellim Bogoro in response to an ex-parte motion that was argued by EFCC attorneys Bilkisu Buhari and C.C. Chineye.

94 Units of 11 Storey building under construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (Formerly Club) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, 11-story office space situated on 1E, Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1, Esa Street, Imoore Land purchased with Deep Bive Industrial Town, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos; and two properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, Closed PFA Fund, Block B.Lot.twin completed property Lakes Estate, Lekki, Lagos.

Others include one plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm, at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa, LGA; Estate located at 100, Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, Owned by Lipam Investment Services; a land at 1, Bunmi Owulude Street, (Maruwa), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos; and a property situated on 8, Bayo Kuku Road, lkoyi Lagos.

The anti-graft agency also asked the court for the following; “an Interim Order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the funds warehoused in the accounts particularized in Schedule ‘A’ which funds are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria Properties provided in 2nd Schedule ‘B’ which are proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Order directing the publication In any National Newspaper, the interim order under reliefs 1-2 above, for anyone who Is interested in the properties and funds sought to be forfeited to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the sald properties and funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

In granting the ex-parte motion, Justice Bogoro, after he had taken submission of the EFCC’s counsel held; “I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel and also perused the motion just moved, together with the affidavit in support.”

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