Court Orders Temporary Forfeiture of U.S.$4.760 Million Penthouses Linked to Alison-Madueke

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered that two penthouses linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and valued at $4.760million, be temporarily forfeited to the federal government.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that two properties: Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11 floor (Bella Vista Estate) Banana Island, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, Lagos, be forfeited to the government, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

The judge made the order while granting an ex-parte application for the interim forfeiture of the said properties, filed and argued before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through its lawyer, Anslem Ozioko.

The EFCC in the ex-parte application marked FHC/L/CS/1793c/17, which has Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC, and Sequoyah Property Limited, as respondents, has asked the court for an interim forfeiture order of the court, forfeiting to the federal government of the said buildings.

EFCC also asked the court for an order prohibiting any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the said assets/properties, as they were suspected to be proceed of unlawful activity.

It also asked for an order authorising it to appoint a competent person(s)/ firms to manage the said two properties.

Ozioko had told the court that the application was brought pursuant to sections 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act number 14, 2006, and section 44(2)(b) and(k) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

The EFCC in affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated that during investigation into the ownership of the two properties, YF Construction Development and Real Estate Limited, and that the firm’s Deputy Managing Director, one Mr. Fadi Basbous, volunteered extra-judicial statement, wherein he stated that the two properties were sold at $3.570 million, and $1.194 million, and owned by Sequoyah Properties Limited, and Schillenburg LLC.

The deponent also stated that the payment for the Penthouse 22, Block B, 8, Gerrard road, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11 floor, Plot1, Zone N, FGN layout, Banana Island, Ikoyi, were made Mrs Angela Jide-Jones, and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited respectively.

The deponent further stated that the said Jide-Jone, is the wife of Jide Omokore, while the said Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited is registered and promoted by Jide Omokore.

It also stated that Omokore paid for the properties through his wife, Angela, and one of his companies, and directed the developers (seller) of the properties to sign the agreements with Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties Limited, both of which are linked to Alison-Madueke.

The deponent also stated that Schillenburg LLC was registered in Hong Kong and transferred on March 30, 2012, to Donald Chidi Amamgbo as sole owner, while Sequoyah Properties Limited, is registered in Nigeria on October 11, 2011, with fictitious names of Chukwudima Nwako and Olisa Eloka, as shareholders and directors.

It that Donald Chidi Amamgbo stated in his extra judicial statement that he incorporated Schillenburg LLC and submitted same to Alison-Madueke for a transaction.

Justice Olatoregun, after listening to the submissions of the EFCC lawyer, granted the application and ordered that the two properties be temporary forfeited to the federal government.

She also prohibited any disposal, conveyance mortgage, lease, sale or alienation of the said properties.

The judge, however, refused to grant the order authorising the anti-graft agency to appoint a competent person(s) or firm to manage the said two properties.

The matter has been adjourned till December 15, for further hearing

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