Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the temporary forfeiture of a landed property allegedly linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Alison Madueke valued at N325, 400,000 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Kuewumi ordered that the control of the property located at Plot 13, Block 11, Oniru Chieftaincy Family Private Estate, Lekki, Lagos be temporarily handed over to the federal government after listening to an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-graft agency in the application filed through its counsel, Anselem Oziok had asked for an interim order of the court forfeiting to the federal government of Nigeria the assets and properties named and described in the schedule to the application which properties and assets are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
Other defendants in the suit number FHC/L/CS/811/18 are, Donald Chidi Amangbo and Mez Group Limited.
The EFCC also prayed the court for an order of the court directing the applicant to notify the person (s) in whose possession the properties sought to be forfeited to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Or in the alternative, an order directing the publication in any National Newspaper of the interim order under relief 1 above for persons in whose possession the properties sought to be forfeited are found or anyone who is interested in the properties sought to be forfeited 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.
The anti-graft agency added that among the properties on the list is ; A vacant plot of land at Plot 13 Block 11, Oniru Chieftaincy Family Private Estate, Lekki, Lagos under the name of Mez Group LCC as the holiding entity.
The EFCC said it consequently wrote a letter dated May 11, 2016 to the Oniru Chieftaincy Family Property Company for copies of the sales agreement /Deed of lease and evidence of payment for the property while the Oniru responded by submitting the following; a sub-lease agreement between Oniru and Skye Bank.
Also recovered was five copies of UBA PlC Manager Cheques all dated 8th of November, 2010 with total value of N90,000,000.
After listening to EFCC EFCC lawyer, Justice Kuewumi granted the application for interim forfeiture of the property to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Kuewumi further ruled that the order must be published in a national newspaper for anybody who have interest in the property sought to be forfeited to come forward and show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He then fixed July 24 for further hearing.
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