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Just In: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Multibillion Naira Lagos, Abuja, Dubai Properties Linked To Kogi Govt

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……EFCC to confiscate the sum of N400million recovered from one Aminu Falala in connection with the alleged fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the nod of the Federal High Court, Lagos to temporarily seize 14 properties and firms in Lagos, Abuja, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) linked to alleged fraud by some Kogi State government officials.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted the interim forfeiture order Wednesday following an ex parte motion by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN.

Justice Oweibo also authorised the EFCC to confiscate the sum of N400million recovered from one Aminu Falala in connection with the alleged fraud.

Oyedepo told the judge that the application followed the EFCC’s probe of “damning intelligence of monumental fraud allegedly perpetrated by some principal officers of Kogi State Government and their cronies.”

The senior lawyer alleged that through the fraud “huge sums of money belonging to the Kogi State Government were fraudulently converted and used to either outrightly acquire properties or renovate already existing but dilapidated buildings”.

He informed the judge in suit FHC/L/CS/301/2023 that the properties were reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity.

Oyedepo further told the court that the N400m was reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity “and intended to be used for the acquisition of Plot No. 1224 Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.”

The judge directed the (EFCC) to publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days for any interested party to show cause why the forfeiture order should not be made permanent.

He adjourned till March 28 for a report on compliance with the order.

The EFCC’s motion ex-parte dated February 17, 2023, sought a “preservation order of properties reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity pursuant to sections 9 and 10 of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 and Section 44(2)B of the 1999 Constitution.

The 14 properties affected by the order include Plot No. 1160, within Cadastral Zone CO3, Gwarimpa II District, Abuja; No. 2, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Street, Asokoro Abuja; Block ‘D’, Manzini Street, Wuse Zone 4 Abuja; Plot A 02/176 Block 488B, Lome Street, Wuse 1, Abuja; Fair Plus International Limited at No. 2 Kubwa Resettlement Area Cadastral Zone E1, Abuja; Fair Plus International Limited, at No 41 Ikorodu Road, Jibowu, Mushin, Lagos State; Fair Plus International Limited at No. 2 Bisi Odunsanya Street, Agege Motor Road, Agege Lagos State; Plot No. 1773 Guzape District, Abuja; and No B13 Citiscape-Shariff Plaza, lying, being and situate at plot 739 Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja.

The UAE property is Hotel Apartment Community: Burj Khalifa, Plot 160 Municipality NO 345-7562, Sky View Building No 1, Property No 401, Floor 4, Dubai U.A.E.

Others include Plot No. 2934A, Cadastral Zone A06, also known as, No. 1 Ikogosi Spring Close, Maitama District, Abuja; Plot No. 1058, measuring about 1450.77sqm in Cadastral Zone AO8, Wuse 2, also known as No. 2 Durban Street, Abuja; Plot No. 1981, Maitama District, also known as No. 6 Dala Hills, Abuja and the sum of N400million allegedly recovered from Falala.

Oyedepo backed the motion ex-parte application with an affidavit deposed to by an EFCC officer, Adekunbi Mojibola, who was part of the team that investigated the case.

Mojibola averred that the Kogi State government opened account number 1010662710 with Zenith Bank Plc named Kogi State Government House Admin.

She averred in her affidavit that the owner of the account between February 2016 and 3rd September 2021, procured one Abdulsalam Hudu to make cash withdrawals of N46,039,579,919.38 (billion) from the account.

The deponent claimed that one “Comfort Olufunke was equally procured to make a cash withdrawal of N2,402,533,621.00 (billion) from the same account between 23rd March 2016 and 30th April 2018.

She claimed that Hudu, between 6th August and 29th September 2019 “whilst fraudulently working in concert with his syndicate withdrew in cash the total sum of N612,650,000 (million) from an account known as Kogi State House Administration (operation) with account number 0793190623 domiciled in Access Bank.

She averred that between February 2016 and 22nd October 2021, “Hudu in a desperate bid to conceal the proceeds of the several unlawful activities whilst working in concert with other principal officers of the state, made a cash withdrawal of N34,206,890,170.50 (billion) from the account known as Government House Admin Lokoja with account number 1003889575 domiciled in United Bank for Africa (UBA PLC).

The deponent further claimed that “A peep into the registers has revealed that about N7,900,000,000 (Billion) from the cash withdrawals made by Abdulsalam Hudu and his cronies from the account of Kogi State Government were concealed in the care and custody of Murtala Maigari and his associates.

Society

Ex-Skye Bank chairman Tunde Ayeni speaks on paternity scandal with former lover, Adaobi Alagwu.

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Former chairman of the board of directors of the defunct Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank) Tunde Ayeni has debunked a report that he reunited with his ex-lover Adaobi Alagwu.

Ms Alagwu, 30, a female lawyer based in Abuja, was said to be Ayeni’s daughter’s classmate when their relationship began.

The lawyer, it was gathered, wants him to admit he is the father of the baby girl she has and take responsibility for her.

Ayeni, however, admitted in a statement released by his media office that his affair with Alagwu set his family backwards and that he would not like to revisit his romance with her.

He said, “Ordinarily, the recent series of media reports linking my name with a lady, Adaobi Alagwu, should not deserve a response from me since the section of the media that is feasting on the issue seems to be uninterested in fact-finding, but mere sensationalism.

“But, given the possibility of even some discerning readers placing some value on the story, this short clarification and disclaimer become necessary.

“I wish to state that, indeed, Ms. Adaobi Alagwu and I had a relationship, which has since ended and, as well-meaning Nigerians can imagine, it was a mistake that has caused my family much pain which I regret and do not wish to continue reliving as a section of the media continues to make me do.”

On the paternity of Alagwu’s child, the businessman explained that the issue “is being resolved and will be resolved in due course but whichever way it is resolved, will never mean a rekindling of the ended relationship between myself and Ms. Alagwu.”

Last year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pulled back the N25.4 billion fraud case it filed against Ayeni and Skye Bank’s former managing director, Timothy Oguntayo.

The commission’s move followed an out-of-court settlement which the duo struck with the agency involving the forfeiture of about N15 billion in cash and assets.

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Society

Tony ELUMELU Celebrates 60th Birthday with Symposium

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The Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Tony Onyemachi Elumelu, CFR, clocked 60 years on Wednesday March 23, 2023 and in commemoration of this event, a symposium was held in his honour at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre in UBA House.

The symposium tagged ’60 for 60’ was attended by 60 young beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, friends and colleagues.

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Seplat Sues Retired Founder Orjiako For Fraudulent Use Of Company’s Letterhead

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Seplat Energy Plc has cut ties with founder, A.B.C. Orjiako and Amaze Limited for transacting on behalf of the company without the approval of the board after retirement.

The energy company said it has also commenced legal action against its retired founder and Amaze Ltd.

The company made the disclosure in a filing seen by THE WHISTLER on Thursday and signed by Mr. Basil Omiyi, Independent Chairman, on behalf of the entire Board of Seplat Energy PLC.

The company said, “Seplat Energy Plc (Seplat Energy or the Company) announces the termination with immediate effect of the Consultancy Agreement between the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary and its co-founder, Dr. A.B.C Orjiako, acting through Amaze Limited.

“Under the Consultancy Agreement, Dr. Orjiako was obliged to provide defined assistance with certain external stakeholder engagements following his retirement from the Board after the 2022 Annual General Meeting in May 2022.”

Orjiako first resgined in November 2021, eight days after Zenith Bank Plc received an order from a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos blocking Seplat from transacting with its embattled founder, Orjiako.

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