Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of a landed property linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and valued at N325 million the Federal Government.
The court granted the temporary forfeiture order, after listening to the Motion Ex-parte filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Anselm Ozioko.
The vacant plot of land said to be at Plot 13, Block 11, Oniru Chieftaincy Family Private Estate, Lekki, Lagos.
Other joined as respondents in the suit are, Mr Donald Chidi Amangbo and Mez Group Limited.
In the Motion Ex-parte marked suit number FHC/L/CS/811/18, the commission is seeking 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.
The EFCC also seeking an order authorising the commission to appoint a competent person (s) or firm to manage the assets named and described in the scheduled to the application.
In the 27 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by one Abdulrasheed Bawa an detective of the EFCC and filed before the court, it was averred that sometime in 2016 a search warrant was executed at the office and premises of one Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, SAN, a known acquaintance of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke.
The commission said that during the search, some of the documents recovered from Amamgbo’s office was an undated report titled “Highly Confidential Attorney Work Product-August Report”.
EFCC said the report contained a list of 18 companies and several properties located in the United Kingdom, Nigeria and United States of America.
It was also averred that in the course of his interview, Amamgbo told the anti-graft agency that he registered the 18 companies to assist Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke in holding titles of her properties and that all belongs to her.
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 holding entity.
After listening to argument by counsel to EFCC, Justice Kuewumi granted the application for interim forfeiture of the property to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Kweuwumi 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.
Meanwhile, July 24 has been fixed for the return date.