Diezani Forfeits Penthouses Worth $4.760m To  FG

Posted on December 5, 2017

YAHAYA IBRAHIM

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Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered that two penthouse allegedly linked to a former petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, be temporary forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, pending the conclusion of investigations.
The two properties are: 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.
 
The order for the forfeiture of the properties followed an ex-parte application filed before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
The anti-graft agency had in the application filed through its lawyer, Anslem Ozioko, asked the court for an interim forfeiture order of the court, forfeiting to the Federal government of Nigeria of the said buildings. 
In the application the 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.
The commission also asked for an order authorising it to appoint a competent person(s)/ firms to manage the said two properties.
Listed as respondents  in the application marked FHC/L/CS/1793c/17 are Diezani Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC, and Sequoyah Property Limited.
The EFCC’s lawyer, 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. 

In an affidavit in support of the application, deposed to by one of the EFCC 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 by Mrs Angela Jide-Jones, and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, respectively.

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

In the affidavit it was 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 the former petroleum minister. 

 
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 of Nigeria, and also prohibit any disposal, conveyance mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or the said properties.

She however, refused to grant the order authorising the EFCC to appoint a competent person(s) or firm to manage the said properties. 

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