Courts Order Forfeitures of Assets Belonging to Diezani, Abba Moro, Others
Court Orders Final Forfeiture of Diezani’s Lagos Properties
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Courts sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 ordered the final forfeiture of two properties n Lagos belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government.
The properties are: Pent House 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th floor( Bella Vista Estate) located at Plot 1, Zone N. Federal Government Layout, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The other is Pent House 22, Block B(Admiralty Estate), located at Gerrald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The Economic and Final Crimes Commission, EFCC, had, on February 5, 2018, filed a motion on notice dated February 2, 2018, seeking the final forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government.
In the motion on notice, the applicant counsel , A. B. C. Oziokor, had sought the order of the court prohibiting any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the assets / properties, which are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.
Also, the applicant had sought the order of the court authorising the Commission to appoint a competent person(s) or firm to manage the assets/ properties.
The motion on notice was served on Chima Umezurike, counsel to the respondents: Diezani Alison Madueke, Donald Chidi Amangbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Property Limited.
During today’s sitting, the motion was taken and the lawyer to the respondent filed a response, stating that the properties had earlier been transferred to the Federal Government.
Umezurike did not oppose the application for the final forfeiture of the properties by the applicant counsel.
Consequently, Justice Mojisola, in her ruling, granted the applicant’s prayers accordingly.
The EFCC had, on December 5, 2017, filed an ex parte application seeking a temporary forfeiture of the properties, which were suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.
The application was supported by a 34-page affidavit deposed to by Abdulrasheed Bawa, an investigator with the EFCC.
In her ruling on the application, Justice Olatoregun had order the interim forfeiture of the property.
The judge had also directed the Commission to publish the forfeiture order in a national newspaper for the respondents or any interested person(s) to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
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Abba Moro: Court Grants Interim Attachment of Properties With Proceeds of NIS Recruitment
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 granted four applications by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, regarding properties purchased by Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited with proceeds of the ill-fated recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, which claimed the lives of over 20 applicants in various centres across the country.
Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited was the company to whom the Ministry of Interior awarded the contract for provision of online enlistment service for the NIS recruitment which took place on March 17, 2013 when Abba Moro (the first defendant in the suit) was minister.
Counsel to the EFCC, Aliyu M. Yusuf, had on January 24, 2018 moved a motion pursuant to Sections 6(d), 7(2), 24, 26(1) & (3), 28 and 34(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act No.1 of 2004; Sections 329, 330 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and Sections 46(2) (k), 251(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, for interim attachment of the assets and properties set out in the schedule attached herein.
“An order stopping the disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise tampering with the properties/assets’ which are located at No 1, Lahn Crescent, Maitama, Abuja and No. 2, Sigure Close, Off Monrovia Street, Wuse II, Abuja”.
“An order authorizing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to appoint a competent person/firm to manage the properties/assets listed in the schedule herein, temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria pending the conclusion of the criminal Charge No. CR/42/2016 in FRN v. Abba Moro Patrick and 3 others against the Defendant herein;
“And for such further orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case”, he said.
Following the objection by the defence, the court adjourned to today for hearing on the motion.
At the resumed sitting Justice Dimgba, after arguments and counter arguments on the motion granted all the prayers by the prosecution.
The judge held that, “the court has the power to make preservatory orders which the court can monitor by itself”.
The court also struck out another motion by Chief Nkereuwem Udofia Akpan, who sought to be a party in the suit.
Thereafter, the case was adjourned to March 28 – 29, 2018, for continuation of trial.
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Court Orders Forfeiture of $200,000 Concealed by Bizman to FG
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 convicted one Moghalu Maduakonam on one-count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Maduakonam, a business man, was arrested sometime in February 2013 by operatives of the EFCC for transporting in cash a sum of $200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), while attempting to board an Ethiopian Airline from Nigeria to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The money is above the threshold of $10,000 allowed by law for an individual.
The defendant failed to disclose the said sum to the Nigerian Customs Service as required by Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act CapF34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act No. 11, 2011.
The offence is punishable under Section 2(5) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act No. 11, 2011 as amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.
Justice Ojukwu, while delivering the judgment prepared by Justice A. A. Ademola in December 2017 shortly before his retirement said, the prosecution had proved its case against the defendant beyond reasonable doubts.
“I have no difficulty in convicting the defendant on the count preferred against him”, the judge said.
Maduakonam’s counsel, Babara Amosu, however, prayed the court to consider the convict as a first time offender and temper justice with mercy, having admitted to his mistake earlier in the trial.
On other hand, counsel to the EFCC, M. E. Eimonye urged the court to apply the full weight of the law adding that the offence was “intentional” and that the defendant was fully aware of its consequences under law since that was not his first time of travelling to Dubai.
Consequently, Justice Ojukwu ordered the forfeiture of the $200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which the convict concealed to the federal government.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com