A Federal High Court, Lagos today ordered that four building properties scattered between Lagos and River States and Abuja, valued at N2. 611, 592, 199 billion, linked to the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke and her associates be temporary forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria, for being proceeds of corruption.
The court presided over by Justice AbdulAziz Anka, gave the order while granting an Ex-parte application marked FHC/L/CS/1279/17, filed and argued before the court by lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Anselm Ozioko.
Respondents in the suit are: Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, Chapel Properties Limited, Blue Nile Estate Limited, Azinga Meadows Limited and Vistapoints Property Development Limited.
The properties ordered to be temporary forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria are: 21 mixed housing units of 8 numbers of four bedrooms penthouse apartment, six numbers of three bedrooms apartments, two numbers of three bedrooms apartment and one numbers of four bedrooms apartment, all ensuit, located at 7, Thurnburn Street, and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba, valued at N937 million.
Another property a 16-four bedrooms terrace, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port-Harcourt, River State, valued at N928 million. Another 13-three bedrooms with one room maid’s quarter, situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million and six flats of three bedrooms and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos valued at N805 million.
The EFCC alleged that the properties were purchased by the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke and her crony, Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, through four companies namely: Chapel Properties Limited, Blue Nile Estate Limited, Azinga Meadows Nigeria Limited and Vistapoint Property Development Limited.
The EFCC in an affidavit attached with the Ex-parte application and deposed to by Sambo Muazu Mayana, an investigator with the agency, averred that sometimes in the year 2016, an intelligence report was received against both Diezani and Amamgbo and the upon analysing the intelligence report, a search warrant was executed at the office and premises of Amamgbo.
The deponent also averred that among the documents recovered from Amamgbo was an undated report tltled “Highly Confidential Attorney Work Product- August Report”.
He stated further that in the said ‘highly confidential report contained 18 companies and several properties located in United Kingdom (UK), Nigeria and United State of America (USA),adding that in the course of interview Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, he told the agency that he registered the 18 companies to assist the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke in holding title of the temporary forfeited properties.
He further stated that investigation into the ownership of the said properties indicates that FBN Mortgage Limited was the last owner on three of the properties
The deponent also stated that payment for the properties were received by FBN Mortgage Limited at various times from 2011 to June 16, 2015,adding that First Bank of Nigeria Plc stated in a letter that the source of the monies was from Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke and that the bank picked up United State Dollars from her house located at 10, Frederick Chiluba Close, off Jose Martins Street, Asokoro, Abuja and bag the sum of $3.342,307 million, was credited into FBN Mortgage Limited account number 2008133531.
He also stated that First Bank of Nigeria Plc, in its extra- judicial statement made by its Head of Public Sector Group, also confirmed that the sum of N840 million, equivalent of $5.540, 318 million, transferred to Skye Bank by one Adeyemi Edun, was picked up on May 23, 2011, from Mrs. Diezani’s house at 10, Fredrick Chiluba Close, off Marti Street, Asokoro, Abuja and same was transferred on Diezani’s instruction to Skye Bank in favour of Adeyemi Edun on the same day.
The deponent urged the court to grant the application in the interest of Justice.
Justice Anka after listening to Ozioko’s submission, ordered that the above listed properties in the interim be forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
He also ordered EFCC to appoint a competent person(s) or firm to manage the temporary forfeited assets/properties. He directed EFCC to notify the respondents in whose possession the assets/properties sought to be forfeited are found to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
Justice Anka also directed EFCC to make the publication of the interim order in a national newspaper for the respondents and anyone who is interested in the properties to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the properties should not be made in favour of the Federal government of Nigeria.