$4.7m, N830m Properties Allegedly Linked to Emefiele: After Losing Forfeiture Order, EFCC Approaches Another Court

Wale Igbintade

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has obtained an interim forfeiture order of the sums of $4,719,054, N830,875,611 and several properties allegedly linked to former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Yellim Bogoro made the order following an ex-parte application by the EFCC’s counsel, Bilkisu Buhari.
However, the forfeiture order came 10 days after Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos, had vacated a similar interim forfeiture order sought by the EFCC on monies domiciled in Nigerian banks and properties allegedly linked to Godwin Emefiele.

A Certified True Copy of the order revealed that Justice Aneke had on May 14, 2024, vacated the  interim forfeiture order he placed on the sums of $4,719,054, N830,875,611 and properties belonging to CEO of Deep Blue Energy Services Limited, Anita Joy Omoile, in the suit, which the EFCC had failed to successfully link to Emefiele.

After hearing I.C. Ifediora, Counsel for the Respondent applied moved in terms of the motion and the EFCC counsel, Buhari, Justice Aneke held, “An order of this Honourable Court is made vacating/discharging and/or setting aside the Orders of this Honourable Court granted ex-parte in this suit on 4th December 2023.
“That the ex-parte Orders of this Honourable Court made on the 4th day of December 2023 are hereby vacated/set side,” the court declared while ruling in suit number FHC/L/CS/2484/2023 filed by the EFCC against Omoile.

The anti-graft agency had asked the court for the following: “An interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government the funds warehoused in the accounts particularised in Schedule ‘A’ which funds are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria Properties provided in 2nd Schedule ‘B’ which are proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Order directing the publication in any National Newspaper, the interim order under reliefs 1-2 above, for anyone who is interested in the properties and funds sought to be forfeited to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties and funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

The disputed funds, according to the EFCC were warehoused in First Bank, Titan Bank and Zenith Bank, being operated by Omoile Anita Joy; Deep Blue Energy Service Limited; Exactquote Bureau De Change Ltd; Lipam Investment Services Limited; Tatler Services Limited; Rosajul Global Resources Ltd and TIL Communication Nigeria Ltd.

The properties include: “94 units of an 11-storey building under construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (formerly Club) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, an 11-story office space located at 1E, Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1, Esa Street, Imoore Land purchased with Deep Bive Industrial Town, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos; and 2 properties acquired from Chevron Nigeria, Closed PFA Fund, Block B.Lot.Twin Completed property Lakes Estate, Lekki.

“One plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa LGA; an estate located at 100, Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, owned by Lipam Investment Services; a land at 1, Bunmi Owulude Street (Maruwa), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos; and a property situated at 8, Bayo Kuku Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.”

However, in a determined effort targeted against the funds and assets, the anti-graft agency on Thursday, filed another ex-parte application before another Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Justice Yellim Bogoro granted the ex-parte motion after considering the submissions of the EFCC’s counsel and reviewing the motion and supporting affidavit.

Ruling on the application, Justice Bogoro held, “I find merit in the application and the same hereby granted as prayed. The applicant should publish this order in any daily newspapers circulating all over the federation for anybody who is interested to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made.

“Case adjourned to July 2, for motion for final forfeiture.”

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