A vacation judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor, sitting at the Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of a $37.5m( N11.75bn) property on Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos allegedly belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The order came following an exparte application, on July 17, 2017supported by an eight-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Abdulrasheed Bawa, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC .
The former Minister was said to have purchased the 15-storey building, which comprises 18 flats and six penthouses, between 2011 and 2012 from the developers, YF Construction and Real Estate.
The property was allegedly acquired in the name of a shell company, Rusimpex Limited, which is managed by one Afamefuna Nwokedim, Principal Partner, Stillwaters Law Firm, Lagos.
Moving the ex-parte application today, counsel to the EFCC, A.B.C. Ozioko, urged the court to order the forfeiture of the total sum of US$2, 740,197.96 and N84, 537,840.70 respectively found by the Commission in Rusimpex USD account No. 1013612486 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
The Commission also prayed the court to order an interim forfeiture of the assets and property.
Ozioko also urged the court to grant an order prohibiting the “disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the assets and property.”
He further urged the court to grant an interim order authorizing the Commission to appoint a competent person(s) or a firm to manage the assets/ property.
Ruling on the application, Justice Obiozor ordered the respondents- Dezianni, Afamefuna Nwokedi and Rusimpex Limited- to show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge also ordered the publication of the interim order in any national newspaper for the respondents or anyone who is interested in the property to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final forfeiture order of the property should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.
Justice Obiozor adjourned to August 7, 2017 for further hearing in the matter.