THE Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the temporary forfeiture of two penthouses valued at $4.760 million, which allegedly belong to former Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The properties are: Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, 11th floor (Bella Vista Estate) Banana Island, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 22, Block B (Admiralty Estate) also in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that they be forfeited to the Federal Government.
She ruled on an exparte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The order, the judge said, is to subsist pending the conclusion of EFCC’s investigation on the properties’ ownership.
EFCC said they are reasonably suspected to have been acquired with “proceeds or crime”.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, Donald Amangbo, Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Property Limited are the respondents.
The commission said the companies in whose names the properties were acquired belong to the former minister.
Justice Olatoregun also granted an injunction against any disposal, conveyance, mortgaging, lease, sale or alienation of the properties.
EFCC’s lawyer Anselm Ozioko said the application was based on Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and Section 44(2)(b) and(k) of the 1999 Constitution.
An investigator, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who deposed to a supporting affidavit to the ex-parte motion, said sometime in 2016, a search warrant was executed at Amangbo’s premises.
He said Amangbo was “an acquaintance of former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Alison Madueke.”
The investigator said one of the documents recovered from Amamgbo led the operatives to the Deputy Managing Director YF Construction Development and Real Estate Limited, Mr. Fadi Basbous.
The deponent said Basbous made a statement, where he stated that the two properties were sold at $3.570 million and $1.194 million and are owned by Sequoyah Properties Limited and Schillenburg LLC.
Bawa said the properties were paid for by Mrs. Angela Jide-Jones and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited.
According to him, Mrs. Jide-Jone was married to Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s associate, Jide Omokore, who registered and promoted Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept.
The EFCC investigator said Omokore paid for the properties through his wife, Angela.
According to the operative, Omokore allegedly directed the developer (seller) to sign the agreements with Schillenburg LLC and Sequoyah Properties.
The deponent said Schillenburg LLC was registered in Hong Kong and was transferred on March 30, 2012, to Amamgbo as sole owner.
According to the EFCC investigator, Amamgbo stated in his statement that he incorporated Schillenburg LLC and handed it over to Mrs. Alison-Madueke “for a transaction”.
The deponent added that Sequoyah Properties “is among 18 companies registered by Donald Chid Amangbo for holding the properties of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke”.