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Court Orders Permanent Forfeiture Of N12.18bn Properties Linked To Emefiele

A Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a final order for the permanent forfeiture of properties valued at over N12.18 billion allegedly linked to former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order on Friday after reviewing an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This follows an earlier temporary forfeiture order issued on June 5, 2024, based on an initial motion filed by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN).

The EFCC, represented by Chineye Okezie, alleged that Mr. Emefiele acquired the properties, located primarily in upscale areas of Abuja, through fraudulent means.

They further implicated three CBN staff members – Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben, Akomolafe Adebayo, and Olubunmi Makinde – as potential accomplices.

Justice Aneke had previously mandated the publication of the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper, giving interested parties the opportunity to contest the action. However, no such challenges emerged during the designated period.

Following the lack of contesting parties, Ms. Okezie presented a request for the final forfeiture.

The court then reviewed a 41-paragraph statement provided by EFCC Investigator, Michael John Idoko, along with 41 exhibits and a signed written address from Okezie.

This process culminated in Justice Aneke’s approval of the finals forfeiture order.

The former CBN governor currently faces separate charges of abuse of office related to alleged irregular foreign exchange allocations. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.

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