Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Over ₦12.18 Billion Properties Linked To Emefiele

The Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a final order for the forfeiture of properties valued at ₦11.14 billion, along with an additional ₦1.04 billion, linked to former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), represented by counsel Chineye Okezie.

Previously, on June 5, 2024, the court had granted a temporary forfeiture of the properties following a motion filed by the EFCC, presented by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Rotimi Oyedepo.

Oyedepo indicated that Emefiele was suspected of acquiring these properties through fraudulent means. The EFCC also implicated two current CBN staff, Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo, along with former CBN staff Olubunmi Makinde, as accomplices in the alleged fraud.

These properties are primarily situated in prestigious areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Justice Aneke required the EFCC to publish the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper, providing an opportunity for any interested parties to contest the issuance of the final forfeiture decree. Following this, the judge adjourned the case.

When the case resumed on June 21, no objections were presented against the interim order. Consequently, Chineye Okezie submitted a request for permanent forfeiture.

Justice Aneke, after reviewing a 41-paragraph statement from EFCC Investigator Michael John Idoko, supported by 41 exhibits and a signed Written Address from Okezie, granted the request.

The EFCC had categorized the properties into two lists, A and B, for detailed documentation in the forfeiture case.