Court orders forfeiture of N11.14bn choice properties linked to Emefiele

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday granted an order of interim forfeiture of properties valued at N11,140,000,000.00 linked to the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order following an ex parte motion filed and argued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Rotimi Oyedepo, accompanied by Bilkisu Buhari-Bala and Chineye Okezie.

The court directed that the properties be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.

Oyedepo informed the court that Emefiele is suspected of having acquired the choice properties through proxies, using proceeds from fraudulent activities. These properties are primarily situated in upscale areas of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The EFCC also implicated three CBN staff members—Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben, Akomolafe Adebayo, and Olubunmi Makinde—as Emefiele’s accomplices. They allegedly used their positions to secure retail and special allocations of foreign exchange for various companies in exchange for kickbacks.

Justice Aneke has ordered the EFCC to publish the interim forfeiture order in the newspaper, allowing any interested party to present reasons why the final forfeiture order should not be issued.

The judge adjourned the case to June 21 for the hearing on the motion for final forfeiture.