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Court Seizes $4.7m, N830m, other properties recovered from Ex-CBN Gov. Emefiele

"Justice Yellim Bogoro gave the order on Thursday, May 23, following an ex-parte application by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bilkisu Buhari"

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of $4.7 million, N830 million, and several properties linked to the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Yellim Bogoro gave the order on Thursday, May 23, following an ex-parte application by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Bilkisu Buhari.

After listening to the EFCC counsel, Justice Bogoro said in her ruling, “I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel and also perused the motion just moved, together with the affidavit in support.”

“I find merit in the application, and the same is hereby granted as prayed.

“The applicant should publish this order in any daily newspaper circulating all over the federation for anybody interested to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made. Case adjourned to July 2, for motion for final forfeiture.”

The monies forfeited to the federal government in the interim were said to be warehoused at First Bank, Titan Bank, and Zenith Bank, being operated by Omoile Anita Joy, Deep Blue Energy Service Limited, Exactquote Bureau De Change Ltd., Lipam Investment Services Limited, Tatler Services Limited, Rosajul Global Resources Ltd., and TIL Communication Nigeria Ltd.

His properties forfeited to the federal government include 94 units of an 11-floor building under construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (formerly Club) Road, iKoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, an 11-floor office space situated on 1E, Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1, Esa Street, Imoore Land purchased with Deep Bive Industrial Town, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos; and two properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, Closed PFA Fund, Block B.Lot twin completed property in Lakes Estate. Lekki, Lagos.

The properties include one plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa, LGA; an estate at 100 Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, owned by Lipam Investment Services; a land at 1, Bunmi Owulude Street (Maruwa), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos; and a property at 8, Bayo Kuku Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The EFCC had previously requested an interim forfeiture of the funds and properties, citing Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offence Act, 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

Specifically, the anti-graft asked the court for the following; “An interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the funds warehoused in the accounts particularized in Schedule ‘A’, which funds are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria properties provided in 2nd Schedule ‘B’ that are proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An order directing the publication in any national newspaper, the interim order under reliefs 1-2 above, for anyone interested in the properties and funds sought to be forfeited to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties and funds should not be made in favor of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

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