Court orders permanent forfeiture of 56 houses linked to Diezani

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja May 27, 2010.Nigeria's state power company will pay energy companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil more for their gas to encourage investment and boost supply capacity, the oil minister said on Thursday.REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY)

Justice Abdul-Azeez Anka of the Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday, ordered the permanent forfeiture of 56 houses, valued at $21, 982, 224, about N3.3 billion, allegedly linked to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke to the federal government.

The forfeited properties were situated in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. They are 21 mixed housing units of eight numbers of four-bedroom penthouse apartment; six numbers of three-bedroom apartments; two numbers of three-bedroom apartment and a four-bedroom apartment, all en suite and located at 7, Thurnburn Street and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba, valued at N937 million and bought through Chapel Properties Ltd.

Others are: 16 numbers of four-bedroom terrace, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port Harcourt, River States, valued at N928 million and bought through Blue Nile Estate Ltd; 13 numbers of three-bedroom with one room maid’s quarter, situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million and bought through Azinga Meadows Ltd and six flats of three-bedroom and one boys’ quarters, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million and bought through Vistapoint property Development Ltd.

In granting the order, the judge noted that there was no response to the applicant’s motion on notice for final forfeiture by any of the respondents, despite being served with the hearing notice.

“I have gone through the affidavit attached to the motion for final forfeiture as well as the submissions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) counsel, Anselem Ozioko. The court has no option, considering the incontrovertible evidence filed by the EFCC, rather than to grant the application. The motion for final forfeiture is accordingly granted as prayed. All parties have a right of appeal,” Justice Anka held.

Apart from the former minister, who is the first respondent in the suit, others are Donald Chidi Amamgbo, 2nd respondent; Chapel Properties Limited, 3rd respondent; Blue Nile Estate Limited, 4th respondent; Azinga Meadows Limited, 5th respondent; and Vistapoint Property Development Limited, 6th respondent.


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