Court Orders Final Forfeiture of Emefiele’s Over N12.18b Choice Properties

Posted on June 22, 2024

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday permanently forfeited to the Federal Government properties valued at over N11,140,000,000.00 and N1.04 billion linked to the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke made the order of final forfeiture after hearing a motion filed and argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through its counsel Chineye Okezie.

The judge had on June 5, 2024, upheld the anti-graft agency’s motion filed and argued by its counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), for an interim forfeiture of the property.

Oyedepo informed the court that Emefiele was suspected to have bought the choice properties by proxy, with the proceeds of fraud.

The EFCC named two current and one former CBN staff as Emefiele’s accomplices in the alleged fraud.

The trio, according to the affidavit filed in support of the application are Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde a former CBN staff and others.

The properties are mostly located in highbrow parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Justice Aneke ordered the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper for any interested party to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made.

The judge adjourned for hearing of the motion for final forfeiture.

Upon resumption on June 21, no party appeared in court to contest the judge’s interim order and Chineye Okezie moved her motion for permanent forfeiture.

Justice Aneke, after reading a 41-paragraph affidavit deposed to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Michael John Idoko, the 19 Exhibits attached, a Written Address signed by Okezie, and after hearing Okezie’s motion, granted the application.

The properties were listed by the EFCC in two schedules, A and B.

The judge said: “Having carefully considered the application and submission of counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows: – that a final forfeiture order of this honourable court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule A herein which were traced and reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

They include shops and apartments at Cadastral Zone Maitama and Wuse.

For Schedule B, Justice Aneke added: “That a final forfeiture order of this Honourable Court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule B herein which properties were traced to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

The properties include lands and apartments which were paid for on behalf of Oluwaseun at a total value of N1.04billion.

According to the affidavit, Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde “used their positions and Influence as CBN staff to secure retail and Special allocation of Foreign Exchange to different companies in exchange for kickbacks.

“That OLUBUNMI MAKINDE is the link between OBAYEMI OLUWASEUN TEBEN and AKOMOLAFE ADEBAYO and the various companies applying for the purchase of foreign exchange.

“That OBAYEMI OLUWASEUN TEBEN and AKOMOLAFE ADEBAYO as staffs of the Central Bank of Nigeria has access to the bidding processes and bidding Data of companies who has applied for the approval of form Ms to the CBN through their various commercial banks.”

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