BREAKING: Diezani Permanently Forfeits 114 Billion Naira Banana Island Mansion To Government
Every day for the thief, one day for the owner, the saying goes.
Whatever is stolen is only for its temporal pleasure.
It is even more so if stolen from tax payers.
Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison Maduekeh is only one of numerous former public officials being forced to return what they had stolen.
On Monday, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered that a $37.5 million, about 114-billion-naira mansion on Banana Island, Lagos linked to her, be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The court also ordered that the sums of sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 realised as rents on the property should equally be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The orders were made by Justice Chuka Obiozor, following a motion on notice argued before him by the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
EFCC had on July 19, 2017, obtained a court order to temporarily seize the property designated as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, which is said to have 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.
The court had directed that the temporary forfeiture order be published in a newspaper and then adjourned till Monday (today) for anyone interested in the property and funds to appear to convince the court why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
At the Monday’s proceedings, the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Anselem Ozioko, told Justice Obiozor that the publication order had been complied with.
He, however, noted that despite going the extra length to personally serve the second and third respondent in the case, Afamefuna Nwokedi, and a company, Rusimpex Limited, they did not show up in court to contest the forfeiture order.
“In summary, it appears as if they are not willing to contest this application,” Ozioko said, urging Justice Obiozor to go ahead and order the permanent forfeiture of the property and the funds.
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In a short ruling, the
judge held, “In the face of the publication, which I find in Exhibit B of the
affidavit of compliance before me, and there being no responses from any
interested party, I have no other option but to grant the orders as prayed.”