Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:33 pm
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the forfeiture of three landed properties belonging to Kola Aluko, an ally of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke to Federal Government.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission gave the valued of the landed properties located in Abuja and Lagos as $73million and N350million
The properties are located at Plot 3389 and Plot 3390, House 2, Margaret Thatcher Close, Asokoro Cadastral Zone, Abuja; as well as Avenue Towers, Plot 1391 Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The anti-graft agency said the Plot 3389 and Plot 3390 in Abuja were purchased for N350million and $18million respectively, while the Lagos property was bought for $55million
The anti -graft agency said the funds used to procure the properties were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
The presiding Judge Mohammed Liman ordered the properties be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
EFCC legal officer, Barrister Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 2016 empowered the court to make such a forfeiture order as the properties sought to be attached are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful diversion of funds from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the Legal officer contended in the application.
In an affidavit sworn to by EFCC operative, Sambo Mayana, the anti-graft agency said it investigated Aluko after receiving a petition from Mr Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, on “a damning intelligence report and a petition alleging fraud, lack of transparency and unethical conduct in the transfer of production rights in the oil mining leases against the respondent and his cronies.
“That there are suspicious financial transactions involving the a company KAA and Atlantic Energy Holding Limited based in the British Virgin Island.
“That the company, in the course of three years, received large suspicious transfers from two sister companies, namely: Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited, based in Nigeria.”
In granting the forfeiture order, Justice Liman directed the EFCC to publish it in a national daily newspaper.
He then adjourned till November 12, 2019 for anyone interested in the properties to appear before the court to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.