SURE-P Funds: Court Orders Perm Sec to Forfeit N664m to FG

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Davidson Iriekpen

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of N664 million recovered from a serving Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Clement Illoh Onubuogo.

Onubuogo allegedly converted the funds from the N10billion released by the federal government during his supervision of the Subsidy Reinvestment programme (SURE-P).

Vacation judge, Justice Abdulaziz Anka, yesterday also authorised the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) to seize a property described as “Clement Illoh’s Mansion” located at Ikom Quarters, Issala-Azegba in Delta State and a hotel at No. 19, Madue Nwafor Street, off Achala Ibuzo Road, Asaba, Delta State.

The court has directed EFCC to notify Onubuogo to appear in court or face permanent forfeiture of the properties in his name.

The judge also directed the publication of the interim orders in any national newspaper for any interested person to appear before the judge to show cause within 14 days why the order should not be made permanent.
He adjourned till September 6 for ruling.

Earlier, EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that both buildings belong to the permanent secretary and were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of stealing.
Oyedepo, in the application of August 15, 2017, persuaded the judge that if the matter was not “urgently determined during vacation, the assets will be dissipated.”

He said the N664,475,246.6 consisted of N437,348,181.16, N97,300,613.44 found in Onubuogo’s First Bank account No. 3033750243 and N129,826,452.00 found in the possession of 15 persons working under Onubuogo’s supervision at the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The persons are Salisu Bala Kura, Rabiu Said, Tonye Isokeiri, Buhari Maaji Dahiru, John Isokwa Kanku, Ahmed Mahmud Muazu, Muktar Sufian, Udoh Nnamdi, Umar Bello Mashi, Salogu Karo, Usman Bello, Ahmed Mohammed Makki, Umar Abubakar, Aliyu Abubakar and Enape Victoria.