Diezani forfeits Port-Harcourt’s property to FG

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A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the forfeiture a plot of land in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, belonging to Diezani Madueke, a former minister of petroleum resources.

Justice Chuka Obiozor, the presiding judge, made the forfeiture order following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency told the judge that the land, was reasonably suspected to part of proceeds of unlawful activities.

The commission prayed the court for an order to allow it to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the asset/property.

After listening to the lawyer, Obiozor granted the forfeiture order as prayed by the lawyer.

In his ruling, Justice Obiozor held: “Sequel to the order of interim forfeiture of order granted in consistence with the section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, 2014, the court directed the applicant to publish the order in a national newspaper, especially in Port-Harcourt and Lagos. The idea is to afford any of the parties fair hearing.

“I see that the order is complied with in the applicant’s exhibit EFCC 22, attached with the motion on notice for final forfeiture.”

“I also know that by the consequence of the publication, the second and third respondents filed a counter, showing that they are only concerned but not opposed to the final forfeiture of the property. In the absence of no any counter from the respondents, I have no reason not to grant this application.

“Upon careful appraisal of the applicant’s motion on notice for final forfeiture before me, I found that the property of the respondents constitute a proceed of unlawful act. The second and third respondents are not challenging the application and the first respondent opted out of the proceeding.

“The applicant (EFCC) has discharged the burden of proof on it, consequently, the prayer of the applicant is successful. “The order of this court for final forfeiture of Plot 9, Nnamdi Azikwe Road, Port-Harcourt GRA and UAC Property, Force Avenue, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, as shown in schedule through the applicant’s motion on notice for final forfeiture order dated 9th May, 2019, to the Federal Government of  Nigeria.”

Last week, the court had ordered the forfeiture of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone belonging to Diezani.

The items were valued at $40 million.




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