The Federal Government has been granted permanent forfeiture of Diezani Alison-Madueke’s $37.5m Banana Island apartment complex of 18 apartments and 6 penthouses.
Justice Chuka Obiozor of The Federal High Court in Lagos granted the order earlier today after the case brought by the EFCC.
The EFCC had alleged that Mrs Madueke paid $37.5million in cash for the property in 2013.
The court also ordered that rental income on the property be forfeited to the Govt:
On July 19th, the EFCC was granted a temporary forfeiture to temporarily seize the property designated as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate.
At Monday’s proceedings, Mr. Anselem Ozioko, the lawyer for the EFCC told Justice Obiozor that the order has been publicised as directed and the agency had personally served the second and third respondent in the case, Afamefuna Nwokedi (legal practitioner), and a company, Rusimpex Limited.
None of the respondents (Diezani was the first respondent) showed up in court to contest the forfeiture order.
The judge held, “In the face of the publication, which I find in Exhibit B of the affidavit of compliance before me, and there being no responses from any interested party, I have no other option but to grant the orders as prayed.”
According to the lawyer for the EFCC, the $37.5m was taken in cash from Diezani’s house in Abuja, and paid into the seller’s First Bank account in Abuja.
“Nothing could be more suspicious than someone keeping such huge amounts in her apartment. Why was she doing that? To avoid attention?
We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt because as of the time this happened, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke was still in public service as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.”
Since our courts refuse to jail these crooks, the EFCC should keep getting permanent forfeiture orders stripping them of their money and assets.
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