A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illo Onubuogo, alleged to have been involved in the Sure-P scam to permanently forfeit the sum of N664million and $137,680 to the federal government.
Justice Saliu Seidu granted the order at the resumed trial of the former permanent secretary.
Yesterday, counsel to Onubuogo, Mr. T. S. Awana, informed the court that his client had two applications, one challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the other for the discharge of the earlier order of the court granting the interim for forfeiture of the properties in question.
Awana however, added that the case being a civil case and the discussion between his client and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the need to settle out of court, he would be withdrawing the two applications.
Counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, in his submission, confirmed the position of the move to settle out of court and stated that he would not be opposing the withdrawals of the two motions filed by the defendant and urged the court to strike out the motions for the coast to be clear for out of court settlement.
While making further submission, Oyedepo told the court that based on the discussion and agreement reached between the parties EFCC would be applying for the discharge of an earlier interim order of the court as regards two of the properties being sought to be forfeited to the government.
The properties are Clement Illoh’s Mansion located at Ikom Quarters, Issala Azegba, Delta State and the property lying and situates at number 19 Madue Nwafor Street off Achala Ibuzor Road, Asaba Delta State.
He then urged the court to discharge the earlier order of the court as regards the two properties only.
Awana did not oppose the application which pave the way for EFCC to move the motion for the final forfeiture of the other properties.
In moving the application for final forfeiture of the properties EFCC counsel, Oyedepo told the court that since the defendant has withdrawn their counter affidavit, the prosecution is left with no option than to move the motion for final forfeiture of the properties.
“In view of the discussion with the defendant we want to move the motion of September 5, 2017 wherein we are seeking the final forfeiture of the properties listed in prayers 1,2,3 and 4.’
Oyedepo said the motion was brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act number 14, 2014.
The prosecution said the application for final forfeiture is supported with nine paragraphs affidavit and two exhibits.
“We also filed a written address in support of the motion as their argument in support of the motion.”
The prosecution therefore urged the court to grant their application for the final forfeiture of the properties as contain in prayers 1,2,3 and 4 in the face of the motion papers.
The application was not opposed by the defendant.
Justice Saliu Saidu consequently granted the application ordering the defendant to forfeit the sum of N437,348,181.16 found by the EFCC in possession of Onuogo which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
The court also order the final forfeiture of another N97,300.613.44 found by the commission in the defendant’s account.
The defendant was also ordered to forfeit another sum of N129,826,452 found by the commission in possession of Salisu Bala Kura, John Isakwa Kanku, Ahmed Mahmud Muazu, Muktar Safian, Udoh Nnamdi, Umar Bello Mashi, Salogu Karo, Usman Bello, Ahmed Mohammed Makki, Umar Abubakar, Aliyu Abubakar and Enape Victoria.
Onubuogo was also ordered to forfeit to the federal government the sum of $137, 680.11
The EFCC had on April 3, 2016 arraigned Clement O. Illoh, before Justice Babs O. Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on failure to declare his assets.
The accused person allegedly failed to disclose the sum of N97, 300, 613.44 found in his account.
He also allegedly warehoused the sum of $139, 575. 50 and £10, 121.52, respectively in his account.
The offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 23(3)(c) of the EFCC (Establish) Act.
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.