Court Orders Final Forfeiture of N12 Billion Properties Linked to Former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Court orders forfeiture of $1.4m linked to Emefiele

The Federal High Court in Lagos has permanently forfeited properties valued at over N11 billion and N1.04 billion, linked to the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, to the Nigerian government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke issued the order after a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was argued by counsel Chineye Okezie.

The properties, mostly located in high-end areas of Abuja, were suspected to have been acquired through fraud. On June 5, 2024, Justice Aneke had upheld the EFCC’s motion for interim forfeiture of the properties.

The EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), had informed the court that Emefiele allegedly purchased the properties by proxy with fraudulent proceeds.

Three CBN staff members were named as Emefiele’s accomplices in the alleged fraud: current employees Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo, along with former staff member Olubunmi Makinde.

The court ordered the EFCC to publish the interim forfeiture in a national newspaper to allow any interested parties to contest the order. However, no parties appeared in court on June 21 to challenge the interim order, leading Okezie to move for permanent forfeiture.

Justice Aneke, after considering a 41-paragraph affidavit by EFCC Investigating Officer Michael John Idoko, 19 exhibits, and a written address by Okezie, granted the motion for final forfeiture.

The properties listed in Schedules A and B were ordered forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Schedule A included shops and apartments in Maitama and Wuse, while Schedule B comprised lands and apartments valued at N1.04 billion, allegedly acquired on behalf of Oluwaseun.

The affidavit stated that Teben and Adebayo, leveraging their positions at the CBN, facilitated special foreign exchange allocations to companies in exchange for kickbacks, with Makinde acting as the intermediary.

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