Court Orders Interim Forfeiture of Emefiele’s Funds, Properties

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of $4,719,054, N830,875,611, and multiple properties linked to former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Justice Yellim Bogoro issued the order on Thursday, May 23, 2024, following an ex-parte application by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Bilkisu Buhari.
“I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel and also perused the motion just moved, together with the affidavit in support. I find merit in the application and same is hereby granted as prayed,” Justice Bogoro ruled.
The judge instructed that the interim order be published in a widely circulated national newspaper, allowing any interested parties to show cause why the final forfeiture should not be granted. The case was adjourned to July 2 for the motion for final forfeiture.
The forfeited funds, held in accounts at First Bank, Titan Bank, and Zenith Bank, are associated with 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 ordered for forfeiture include:
– 94 units of an 11-floor building under construction at 2 Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos.
– AM Plaza, an 11-floor office space at 1E Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos.
– Imore Industrial Park 1 on Esa Street, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos.
– Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse at Bogije, near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos.
– Two properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, located in Lakes Estate, Lekki, Lagos.
– A plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Eti-Osa LGA.
– An estate at 100 Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, owned by Lipam Investment Services.
– Land at 1 Bunmi Owulude Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
– A property at 8 Bayo Kuku Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The EFCC’s application was made under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.
Specifically, the anti-graft asked the court for the following; “An interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the funds warehoused in the accounts particularized 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 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.”
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