Market News

Court orders permanent forfeiture of Emefiele’s N12bn property - PUNCH

JUNE 24, 2024

By Adetutu Sobowale

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of properties worth over N11.14 billion and N1.04 billion belonging to the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele to the Federal Government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke issued the final forfeiture order after considering a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, represented by counsel Chineye Okezie on Friday.

The judge said, “Having carefully considered the application and submission of counsel, it is hereby ordered as follows: – that a final forfeiture order of this honourable court is hereby made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule A herein which were traced and reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

The property included shops and apartments at Cadastral Zone Maitama and Wuse.

Aneke said, “A final forfeiture order of this Honourable Court is, hereby, made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, properties contained in Schedule B herein which properties were traced to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.”

The property included lands and apartments which were paid for on behalf of Oluwaseun at a total value of N1.04 billion.

Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo working with Olubunmi Makinde “used their positions and Influence as CBN staff to secure retail and Special allocation of Foreign Exchange to different companies in exchange for kickbacks, according to the affidavit.

“That OLUBUNMI MAKINDE is the link between OBAYEMI OLUWASEUN TEBEN and AKOMOLAFE ADEBAYO and the various companies applying for the purchase of foreign exchange.

“That OBAYEMI OLUWASEUN TEBEN and AKOMOLAFE ADEBAYO as staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria have access to the bidding processes and bidding Data of companies who have applied for the approval of form Ms to the CBN through their various commercial banks.”

Aneke on June 5, 2024, granted an interim forfeiture following a motion by EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo.

Oyedepo told the court that Emefiele was suspected of purchasing the choice properties by proxy using proceeds from fraud.

He also identified two current and one former CBN staff as Emefiele’s accomplices in the alleged fraud.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the application, the accomplices are Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben, Akomolafe Adebayo, and former CBN staff Olubunmi Makinde, among others.

The properties are primarily located in upscale areas of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The judge directed the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper, inviting any interested parties to show cause why the final forfeiture order should not be issued.

The judge then scheduled a hearing for the motion for final forfeiture.

On June 21, no party appeared in court to contest the interim order. Consequently, Chineye Okezie moved forward with her motion for permanent forfeiture.

After reviewing a 41-paragraph affidavit by EFCC Investigating Officer Michael John Idoko, along with 19 attached exhibits and a written address signed by Okezie, Justice Aneke granted the application for permanent forfeiture.

The EFCC listed the properties in two schedules, A and B.


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