Court Orders Forfeiture Of Emefiele’s $4.7m, N830m, Properties

Witness Narrates Alleged Payment Of $600,000 Bribe To CBN Director

Justice Yellim Bogoro of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered a temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government of $4,719,054, N830,875,611, and several properties linked to a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Bogoro issued the order after entertaining an ex-parte application brought before him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through one of its lawyers, Bilkisu Buhari.

In her ruling, the Judge held, “I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel and also perused the application just moved, together with the affidavit in support.

“I find merit in the application and the same is granted as prayed.

“The applicant should publish this order in any daily newspaper circulating all over the federation for anybody interested to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made.

“Case adjourned to July 2 for a motion for final forfeiture,” the court held.

The EFCC claimed that the forfeited funds are warehoused in First Bank Plc, Titan Bank, and Zenith Bank Plc, and that they are being operated by Omoile Anita Joy; Deep Blue Energy Service Limited; Exactquote Bureau De Change Ltd; Lipam Investment Services Limited; Tatler Services Limited; Rosajul Global Resources Ltd and TIL Communication Nigeria Ltd.

The anti-graft agency also listed the properties as 94 Units of an 11-floor building under Construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (Formerly Club) Road, iKoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, 11-floor 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 in 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 Situate on 8, Bayo Kuku Road, lkoyi Lagos.

The EFCC had urged the court for an interim forfeiture of the monies and properties under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act. 14 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

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

The Commission further prayed the judge for “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 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 said properties and funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Emefiele is facing criminal charges in Abuja and Lagos over alleged fraud, abuse of office among other charges.

The Federal High Court in Lagos, Friday, April 12, 2024, heard that Emefiele allegedly received millions of dollars in cash in undocumented circumstances through a proxy, Mr Monday Osazuwa.

Emefiele and Omoile were arraigned by the EFCC on April 8, 2024 in Abuja on an amended 26-count charge bordering on alleged $4.5bn and N2.8bn fraud.

The former apex bank governor is also being tried by the anti-graft agency at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja over alleged abuse of office and accepting gratification of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.

He was arraigned on April 8, 2024, alongside his co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, on 26 counts charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property, and fraudulently obtaining and conferring corrupt advantage.

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