Emefiele Forfeits N12bn Property To FG

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Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has forfeited properties worth over N11.14 billion and N1.04 billion to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke issued the permanent forfeiture order on Friday after considering a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency was represented by counsel Chineye Okezie who made the application for the final forfeiture of properties valued at about N12 billion. 

According to Justice Aneke; “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 forfeited property includes shops and apartments at Cadastral Zone Maitama and Wuse districts of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Justice Aneke further declared; “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.”

EFCC had informed the Court that the property in contention included lands and apartments which were paid for on behalf of Oluwaseun at a total value of N1.04 billion.

The Court papers indicated that 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.

The anti-corruption agency stated; “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.”

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

Oyedepo, who informed the Court that Emefiele was suspected of purchasing the choice properties by proxy using proceeds from fraud, also identified two current and one former CBN staff as Emefiele’s accomplices in the alleged fraud.

The affidavit filed in support of the application listed Emefiele’s accomplices as Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben, Akomolafe Adebayo, and former CBN staff Olubunmi Makinde, among others.

Noting that the properties are primarily located in upscale areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the judge directed 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.

Following the Court’s scheduling to hear 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 the final and permanent forfeiture of the said properties listed by the EFCC in two schedules A and B.

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