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Court orders Diezani Alison-Madueke to permanently forfeit N34bn to FG

BellaNaija.com

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Diezani Alison-Madueke

A Federal High Court Lagos on Thursday ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of N34 billion ($153 million) linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

Justice Muslim Hassan issued the order while delivering judgment in a suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking the forfeiture of the money as proceeds of crime.

Justice Hassan had on January 6 issued an interim order of forfeiture of the sum of N34 billion to the Federal Government following an ex parte application by the EFCC seeking a similar relief.

The EFCC had initiated an ex-parte application, seeking an interim order for the temporary forfeiture of the sum to FG which it claimed was linked to the ex-Minister.

Also joined in the suit was Dauda Lawal as respondent.

The court had also issued 14 days to any interested party to appear and prove the legitimacy of the money failing which the money would be permanently forfeited to the government.

At the last sitting of the court on January 24, Rotimi Oyedepo and Charles Adeogun, Counsel representing the EFCC and the respondent (Lawal) respectively, had argued their originating processes before the court.

Oyedepo urged the court to make the interim order absolute and ordered a final forfeiture of the sum to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He also urged the court to order the forfeiture of other sums to which no claim had been laid.

In his argument, Adeogun urged the court to issue an order, directing a refund of N9.08 billion to the second respondent on the grounds that it was obtained by coercion.

He argued that before such forfeiture orders can be made, two essential elements must be satisfied; namely — “that the property in question is unclaimed, and that such property or funds formed proceeds of an unlawful act.

Justice Hassan, in his judgment, ordered a final forfeiture of the unclaimed sum of N23.43 billion and $5 million to the Federal Government.

“I hereby make an order pursuant to Section 17 of the Advanced fee Fraud and other related Offences Act 2016, for final forfeiture of the unclaimed sum of N23,426,300,000.00 billion and $5 million to the Federal Government finally.

In respect of the second respondent, learned Counsel, Charles Adeogun, informed the court that the second respondent filed a counter-affidavit on why the sum of N9.08 billion should not be forfeited.

I have carefully examined the affidavit evidence before the court and I find that the second respondent was duly cautioned in English language before his statement was taken and so, I hold that same was taken without any evidence of inducement.

On the whole, I am satisfied that all the conditions stated in Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, was duly fulfilled by the applicant.

I accordingly make the following orders — An order for the final forfeiture of the sum of N23, 426, 300, 000.00 billion being unclaimed property to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

An order of final forfeiture is also made for the sum of N9.08 billion recovered from the second respondent to the Federal Government of Nigeria, this is my judgment,” he said.

Before the judgment, Adeogun had informed the court of two of his pending motions filed on February 3 — the first seeking an abridgement of time and the second, for leave of the court to file further affidavits to his counter- affidavit.

He told the court that parties were exploring means of reaching amicable settlement in the matter.

He described it as a common sense approach to resolving the matter, adding that the sum recovered from the second respondent and sought to be finally forfeited, were “gathered from friends and relatives.”

Adeogun added that the facts were not made available to the court at the last adjournment because the instruments with which the funds were paid were still with the commission.

In response, Counsel to the EFCC, Oyedepo said he was not privy to such settlement options, adding that he was only sent to do the “bidding” of his employers.

“If the intention of the respondent is to keep the application in the court’s file in abeyance, I will then pray the court to strike out the applications relying on the authorities of SIEC Ekiti State vs NCP, Newswatch communications Ltd vs Attah and Manuel vs Briggs.

The applications the counsels seek to put in abeyance is intended to arrest the court’s judgment fixed for today.

In all these, the court had held that it is alien for the court to allow its judgment to be arrested once reserved.

It is just like a pregnant woman in the delivery room, getting an invitation to attend a wedding ceremony; in essence, the court is carrying a pregnancy and so, no party should be allowed to terminate it.

The court had given parties adequate time for anyone to complain of rights infringement and so I urge the court to strike out the application so that the coast can be clear to deliver judgment,” he said

The judge, in a short ruling, allowed the second respondent’s counsel (Adeogun) to move his application and thereafter dismissed the application and proceeded with the judgment.

10 Comments

  1. DayoI

    February 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Honestly, this is the kind of news that just annoys me. People like Diezani and other lower level thieves….

    How can a person steal at all, not to talk of this amount of money (and even more)?
    How are they satisfied and at peace with themselves, when there are people outside their massive homes suffering. You stole our money!! The money that could have been used for all kinds of basic amenities that Nigerians lack.

    I really don’t want to curse people, but honestly, I don’t know what else can be done because they seem to refuse that they’ve done anything wrong.

    This one claimed she was sick when she was caught? Who does that? What gets into the head of some people? kmt

    • Gbemi

      February 18, 2017 at 2:19 am

      You are blessed. I usually do not speak like this, I don’t even speak like this at all but this woman is a bastard. God will judge you Deziani, God will judge you Yakubu, all you wicked people, you are judged.

      The Bible says “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.””

      Your sins are being retained by many all you wicked people in power and your family and children hailing you and not calling you out and the friends hanging out with you.

      Ibori had the guts to stand and say he didn’t steal. He’s even allegedly trying to clear the criminal record so he can run for office again. Imagine!

      Brood of vipers. Thieves. Shameless criminals. It’s people like this that killed Eric Arubayi. It’s people like this that killed the victims of the Dana crash and other crashes. It’s people like these that have killed all the people that have died in road accidents.

      Money for good hospital, money for good roads, bribe so airline checks can be overlooked, that’s what they have used to shop and that’s what they have stored in their houses. Bastards! Idiots! BN if you like don’t post my comment.

  2. sharon

    February 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Dieziani!! You’re a thief!! You’re the kind of person that should be stoned, Lord forgive me

  3. Jade

    February 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Throw this woman in jail. She’s a liar, she’s not sick. She used government’s money for her own personal use. It’s a crime. The same woman will call herself Christian, attend church and pray against her “enemies”. When she’s the culprit and devil himself.

  4. Coke

    February 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Dear God,
    what does one person need this much money to buy?Africans shm

  5. Puzzles

    February 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I am so disappointed in Diezani. And i was defending this woman in my heart, thinking that some men who hated that she was Petroleum Minister were deliberately framing lies against her. When women are trying to get equal opportunities, this woman got a very important position and abused it.

    Why didn’t she imitate the late Dora Akunyili who did such a good job that NAFDAC has not been the same since she was removed from that position?

  6. o

    February 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    So one human being with one head can steal N34b???? Pls any word stronger than greed????

  7. Authentic Sunshine

    February 17, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    NOT ENOUGH! !!! This woman needs to be taken to the laundry. Washed and aired for all she’s worth. Theiving scumbag.

  8. Nunulicious

    February 18, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Dieziani, If i see you anywhere in the world, I would spit on you if close enough or stone you if I’m too far away.
    #ole #shame #disgracefulwoman.
    I think I personally find her own situation so repulsive because I admired her from a distance-female, pretty,wellspoken. Ashe na packaging and na wash. What a disappointment! What a terrible let down.

  9. Oludare Ishola

    February 18, 2017 at 11:07 am

    She will go to jail …..And she will finish her prison terms ………. Welcome back home as a hero ……….And probably become the next governor of her state …….That is the reality.

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