Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of the sums of N6,584,785,000; $222,000 and Aso Savings Limited shares valued at N2,028,800,000 allegedly derived fraudulently from proceeds of the sale of Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Justice Dimgba also ordered an interim forfeiture of 12 houses and some plots of land located in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja allegedly bought with part of the loot.
The judge gave the orders while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC accused some former aides and a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan of diverting about N27,188,232,208.20 proceeds of the PHCN Severance Insurance Premium.
The judge heard and granted the motion in chambers yesterday after it was moved by EFCC’s lawyer Ben Ikani.
Justice Dimgba also directed the EFCC to publish the orders in any national daily within 14 days, following which any interested persons or organisations interested in the assets would be entitled to challenge the court orders.
He adjourned further hearing in the case to February 6.
In the ex parte mtotion, EFCC named top government officials involved in the said scam to include then Chief of Staff to the then President Goodluck Jonathan, Brig.-Gen. Jones Arogbofa, then Accountant-General of the Federation Mr. Jonah Otunla, and the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali.
Others also named in the scam were a cousin to Jonathan, Robert Azibaola; a former Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki; and a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil.
It alleged that Arogbofa got N150m through proxies; Dikki, N1 billion; the ex-Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Igali N475 million; Otunla N3.6 billion; Jonathan’s cousin, Azibaola N2.5bn and Wakil, N118m.
The EFCC also alleged that, of the N27,188,232,208 allegedly misappropriated by government officials, N6,584,785, $222,000, and N2,028,800,000 worth of shares of Aso Savings Ltd had been recovered from the suspects.
The seized properties include two units of 4-bedroom detached duplex (Houses 12 & 14) at Alexander Miller Estate, Lekki-Lagos; one unit 4-bedroom semi-detached terrace duplex (block C11, Unit 7) at Lekki Garden Estate Paradise 3, Lekki, Lagos; one unit of 4-bedroom semi -detached(House 4b) at Olive Court, Agodi, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State; and two units of 3-bedroom flat with 1-room boys quarters at 6a & b, Ogedengbe Street, Apapa, Lagos.
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