Diezani loses more properties worth N2.7bn to Nigerian government
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Ex-Nigerian oil minister, Diezani Alison Madueke has lost more properties located in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, valued at about N2.7 billion to the Nigerian government.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court in Lagos gave the forfeiture order on Tuesday.
The houses seized included 21 mixed housing units of eight four bedroom penthouse apartment; six buildings of three bedroom apartments; two buildings of three bedrooms apartment and one building of four bedrooms apartment, located at 7 Thurnburn Street and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba. They were all valued at N937 million.
There were also 16-four bedrooms terrace buildings, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port-Harcourt, River State, valued at N928 million.
Also forfeited were 13 three-bedroom with one room maid’s quarter situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million; and six flats of three bedrooms and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million.
The order of the court was sequel to an ex-parte application filed and argued before the court by the lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Anselm Ozioko.
Named as respondents in the suit are: Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke; Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo; Chapel Properties Limited; Blue Nile Estate Limited; Azinga Meadows Limited and Vistapoints Property Development Limited.
Justice Anka ordered that the properties should in the interim be forfeited to the Federal government.
He also ordered the EFCC to notify the respondents to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
Justice Anka also directed the EFCC to make publication of the interim order in a national newspaper for the respondents and anyone who is interested in the properties to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the properties should not be made in favour of the Federal government of Nigeria.
EFCC alleged that the properties were purchased by the Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani and her cohort, Mr. Donald Chidi Amamgbo, through four companies; namely; Chapel Properties Limited; Blue Nile Estate Limited; Azinga Meadows Nigeria Limited; and Vistapoint Property Development Limited.
In an affidavit attached with the ex-parte application, sworn to by Sambo Muazu Mayana, an investigator with the agency,he averred that sometimes in 2016, an intelligence report was received against both Diezani and Amamgbo, and upon analysing the intelligence report, a search warrant was executed at the office and premises of Amamgbo.
Mayana averred further that among the documents recovered from Amamgbo was an undated report titled “Highly Confidential Attorney Work Product- August Report”.
The said report contained 18 companies and several properties located in United Kingdom (UK), Nigeria and United States of America (USA).
Amamgbo, told the EFCC that he registered the companies to assist the Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke in holding title of the temporarily forfeited properties.
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