A Federal High Court, in Lagos, today seized two additional properties valued at $4, 760, 000 from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that the properties, which were linked to the former minister, be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, pending the conclusion of the investigation being conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The properties are Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th Floor (Bella Vista Estate), Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Justice Olatoregun made the order while granting an ex-parte application for interim forfeiture of the said properties, filed and argued before the Court by the EFCC, through its lawyer, Anslem Ozioko.
The EFCC in the application marked FHC/L/CS/1793c/17, which has Diezani Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Property Limited as respondents, asked the court for an interim order forfeiting the said buildings to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
EFCC also asked the Court for an order prohibiting any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation or otherwise of the said assets/properties, as they are suspected to be proceed of unlawful activity.
The agency also sought an order authorizing it to appoint a competent person/firm to manage the two properties.
Ozioko told the Court that the application was brought pursuant to Sections 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act number 14, 2006, and section 44(2)(b) and(k) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
The EFCC, in affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated that during investigation into the ownership of the two properties, the Deputy Managing Director of YF Construction Development and Real Estate Limited, one Mr. Fadi Basbous volunteered extra-judicial statement, in which he stated that the two properties were sold at $3.570million and $1.194million, and are owned by Sequoyah Properties Limited and Schillenburg LLC.
The deponent also stated that the payment for the Penthouse 22, Block B, 8, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th Floor, Plot 1, Zone N, FGN layout, Banana Island, Ikoyi were made by Mrs Angela Jide-Jones and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, respectively.
The deponent further stated that the said Mrs. Angela Jide-Jones is the wife of Jide Omokore, while the said Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited was registered and promoted by Jide Omokore.
The deponent also stated that Jide Omokore paid for the properties through his wife, Angela, and one of his companies and directed the developers of the properties to sign the agreements with Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties Limited, both of which are linked to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The deponent also stated that Schillenburg LLC was registered in Hong Kong and transferred on March 30, 2012 to Donald Chidi Amamgbo as sole owner, while Sequoyah Properties Limited was registered in Nigeria, on October 11, 2011, with fictitious names, Chukwudima Nwako and Olisa Eloka, as shareholders and directors.
The deponent added that Donald Chidi Amamgbo stated in his extra judicial statement that he incorporated Schillenburg LLC and submitted same to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke for purpose of using it for a transaction.
Based on the submissions of the EFCC lawyer, Justice Olatoregun granted the application and ordered that the two properties be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. She also prohibited any disposal, conveyance, mortgage, lease, sale or alienation of the said properties.
The judge, however, refused to grant the order authorizing the anti-graft agency to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the two properties.