By Sandra Umeh
Lagos – A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Tuesday, adjourned until Feb. 14, a suit seeking final forfeiture of two penthouse structures, allegedly linked to a former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The suit was adjourned to a further date, following the absence of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who was said to be attending a workshop.
Olatoregun had on Dec. 5, 2017, ordered an interim forfeiture of the said properties, after an exparte application was argued by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC’s application marked FHC/L/CS/1793c/17, has as respondents, Alison-Madueke, Donald Amagbo, Schillenburg LLC, and Sequoyah Property Ltd.
The court ordered that the properties: Penthouse 21 building 5, Block C, 11 floor, Bella Vista, Banana Island, Ikoyi,Lagos be forfeited to the Federal government, pending the conclusion of investigation.
Also to be forfeited is Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, Lagos,
EFCC Counsel, Mr Anslem Ozioko asked the court for an order prohibiting any disposal, sale or alienation of the said assets, as they were suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.
The commission also seeks an order authorizing it to appoint a competent person(s) or firm, to manage the said properties.
Ozioko told the court that the application was brought in pursuant to section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act.
In an affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC stated that during investigation into the ownerships of YF Construction Development and Real Estate Ltd, one Fadi Basbous, volunteered extra-judicial statement.
He said Basbous stated that the two properties which were sold at 3.6million dollars and 1.2million dollars respectively were owned by Sequoyah Properties Ltd, and Schillenburg LLC.
The deponent also stated that payment for the Penthouses was made by Angela Jide-Jones, and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, respectively.
The deponent further stated that the said Angela Jide-Jone, is the wife of Jide Omokore, while the said Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, is registered by same Jide Omokore.
The deponent stated that Jide Omokore paid for the properties through his wife, and one of his companies.
Also, Omokore directed its developers to sign the agreements with Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties Ltd which were linked to Alison-Madueke.
He said that Schillenburg LLC was registered in Hongkong, and transferred to Donald Chidi Amamgbo as sole owner.
According to the deponent, Sequoyah Properties Ltd, was registered in Nigeria on Oct. 11, 2011 with fictitious names as shareholders and directors.
He consequently urged the court to grant the orders as prayed on the motion paper.
After listening to the submissions of counsel, Olatoregun granted the application and ordered that the two properties be temporary forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge, however, refused to grant the order authorising the anti-graft agency to appoint a competent person or firm to manage the said properties. (NAN)