Again, Court orders temporary forfeiture of 56 houses linked to Diezani

Ebun Francis || For the third time in as many weeks, a Federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered that the former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Dieziani Alison Madueke forfeit properties she is believed to have illegally acquired while in office.

The court ordered that Dieziani forfeit temporarily 56 houses linked to her in various parts of the country following an interim forfeiture application made by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.

In the application, the commission told Abdulaziz Anka, the presiding judge, that the assets are “ill-gotten properties from alleged acts of corruption”.

The houses located in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja, were said to have been acquired by the ex-minister between 2011 and 2013 using front companies.

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The houses seized included 21 mixed housing units of eight four bedroom penthouse apartment; six buildings of three bedroom apartments; two buildings of three bedrooms apartment and one building of four bedrooms apartment, all ensuite, located at 7 Thurnburn Street and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba. They were all valued at N937 million.

There were also 16-four bedrooms terrace buildings, located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port-Harcourt, River State, valued at N928 million.

Also forfeited were 13 three-bedroom with one room maid’s quarter situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million; and six flats of three bedrooms and one boys quarter, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million.

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The EFCC said, while Dieziani was serving as a minister, she allegedly paid the sum of $16,441,906 in cash for the property from the proceeds of suspected unlawful activity.

The forfeiture is the latest of previous ones the former minister has made to the federal government.