Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, granted an order for the interim forfeiture of three landed properties belonging to Kola Aluko, an ally of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) gave the value of the properties located in Abuja and Lagos as $73 million and N350 million.
The EFCC gave the names of the properties as Plot 3389 and Plot 3390, House 2, Margaret Thatcher Close, Asokoro Cadastral Zone, Abuja, and Avenue Towers, Plot 1391, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The anti-graft agency said Plot 3389 and 3390 in Abuja were purchased for N350 million and $18 million, respectively, and the Lagos property was bought for $55m.
The EFCC stated that the funds used to procure the properties were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
Following an ex parte application on Tuesday, the court ordered the properties temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the judge that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act 14 of 2016 empowered the court to make such a forfeiture order.
“The properties sought to be attached are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful diversion from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“That the respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the lawyer said in the application.
An operative of the EFCC, Sambo Mayana, said the anti-graft agency investigated Aluko after receiving from Mr. Debo Adeniran, the chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, “a damning intelligence report and a petition alleging fraud, lack of transparency and unethical conduct in the transfer of production rights in the oil mining leases against the respondent and his cronies.”