Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has lost a $37.5 million mansion located in Banana Island, Lagos, purportedly belonging to her, to the Federal Government permanently.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, ordered that the mansion worth $37.5 million and linked to the former minister, be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Also to be forfeited to the Federal Government are sums of $2,740,197.96 million and N84,537,840.70 million realised as rents on the property.
Justice Chuka Obiozor gave the order sequel to a motion on notice argued before him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had earlier on July 19, 2017, obtained a court order to temporarily seize the property labeled as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, which has 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.
In granting the forfeiture order, the court had instructed that the order be published in a newspaper. It had then adjourned till Monday for anyone interested in the property and funds to come before the court and show course why the property must not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
When the matter came up on Monday the judge held, “In the face of the publication, which I find in Exhibit B of the affidavit of compliance before me, and there being no responses from any interested party, I have no other option but to grant the orders as prayed.”
The EFCC had accused the minister of acquiring the property with proceeds of unlawful activities. It said its investigation showed that Diezani bought the property sometime in 2013 at the price of $37.5 million, which she paid in cash.
The anti-graft agency added that the $37.5 million was moved straight from Diezani’s house in Abuja and paid into the seller’s First Bank account in Abuja.