A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered a temporary forfeiture of two properties valued at $4.7 million (about N1.5 billion) allegedly belonging to Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former Petroleum Minister.
The judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, ruled that the properties – Penthouse 21 building 5, Block C, 11th floor (Bella Vista Estate) Banana Island, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, Lagos, be forfeited to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission into the ownership of the properties which it reasonably believes were procured with proceeds of crime.
The judge’s decision came months after multi-billion naira properties and funds running into millions of dollars allegedly linked to the former minister were forfeited to the Nigerian government.
Recall that on August 7, a federal judge ordered the permanent forfeiture of a $37.5 million property on Banana Island, Lagos, allegedly belonging to Mrs. Alison-Madueke. Two weeks later, another court ordered an interim forfeiture of 56 houses valued at over N3 billion allegedly bought by the former minister between 2011 and 2013.
On August 28, a judge ordered the permanent forfeiture of N7.6 billion suspected to belong to the ex-minister. In September, there was another forfeiture proceeding on four properties in Lagos, Abuja, and Rivers State involving Mrs. Alison-Madeke.
In the latest ex-parte application for the forfeiture of two properties, the EFCC listed Mrs. Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC, and Sequoyah Property Limited, as respondents.
Anselm Ozioko, the EFCC counsel, also asked the court for an order prohibiting any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease or sale of the properties as well as an order authorising the commission to appoint a competent person or firm to manage them.