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Court orders forfeiture of $4.7m, N830m, multiple properties linked to Emefiele

Court orders forfeiture of $4.7m, N830m, multiple properties linked to Emefiele

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

The order was granted by Justice Yellim Bogoro on Thursday, May 23, 2024, following an ex-parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), represented by counsel Bilkisu Buhari.

Read also: Emefiele pleads not guilty to financial misconduct charges

The funds, now forfeited to the federal government, were reportedly held in First Bank, Titan Bank, and Zenith Bank accounts managed by individuals and entities including 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.

Properties affected by the interim forfeiture include 94 units of an 11-floor building under construction at 2 Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, an 11-floor office space on Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1 on Esa Street, Imoore Land, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos; and two properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, located in Lakes Estate, Lekki, Lagos.

Additional properties include a plot at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa, LGA; an estate at 100 Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, owned by Lipam Investment Services; land at 1 Bunmi Owulude Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos; and a property at 8 Bayo Kuku Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The EFCC cited Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and Section 44(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution in its application, seeking the interim forfeiture on the grounds that the funds and properties are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

Read also: Emefiele: CBN officials asked for $0.6m bribe for executed contract

Justice Bogoro, finding merit in the EFCC’s application, ordered the interim forfeiture and mandated the publication of the order in a national newspaper. This notice invites interested parties to show cause within 14 days why a final forfeiture order should not be granted. The case is adjourned to July 2 for the motion for final forfeiture.

“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,” Justice Bogoro stated.