Nigeria: Diezani Moves to Recover Seized Assets, Applies to Court

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has prayed a Federal High Court, Abuja to vacate an order granted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for remaining forfeiture of her seized belongings.

Alison-Madueke, in an originating action, sought an order extending the time inside which to hunt depart to use to the court docket for an order to set apart the EFCC’s public discover issued to conduct public sale on her property.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reviews that the anti-corruption company had deliberate to conduct public sale of all belongings seized from Alison-Madueke starting from Jan. 9 as contained in its public discover following varied court docket judgments/orders issued in favour of the fee as remaining forfeiture orders in opposition to property and private effortlessly of the previous minister.

But within the action marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/21/2023 dated and filed Jan. 6 by her lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, earlier than Justice Inyang Ekwo, the ex-minister sought 5 orders from the court docket.

While Alison-Madueke is the applicant, the EFCC is the only respondent within the swimsuit.

The former minister, who argued that the varied orders had been made with out jurisdiction, stated these “ought to be set aside ex debito justitiae.”

She stated she was not given honest listening to in all of the proceedings main to the orders.

“The various court orders issued in favour of the respondent and upon which the respondent issued the public notice to conduct public sale of items contained in the public notice most of which court the interest of the applicant were issued in breach of the applicant’s right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as altered, and other similar constitutional provisions,” she stated.

She argued that she was neither served with the cost sheet and proof of proof in any of the cost nor every other summons howsoever and in any respect in respect of the crook expenses pending in opposition to her earlier than the court docket.

She added argued that the courts had been misled into making a number of of the remaining forfeiture orders in opposition to her belongings by way of suppression or non-disclosure of fabric details.

“The a number of purposes upon which the courts made the remaining order of forfeiture in opposition to the applicant had been obtained upon gross misstatements, misrepresentations, non-disclosure, concealment and suppression of fabric details and this honourable court docket has the electricity to set-aside equal ex debito justitiae, as a void order is nearly as good as if it was in no way made in any respect.

“The orders had been made with out recourse to the constitutional proper to honest listening to and proper to property accorded the applicant by the charter.

“The applicant was never served with the processes of court in all the proceedings that led to the order of final forfeiture,” she stated, amongst different grounds given.

But the EFCC, in a counter affidavit deposed to by Rufai Zaki, a detective with the fee, urged the court docket to dismiss Alison-Madueke’s software.

Zaki, who was a member of the crew that investigated a case of crook conspiracy, official corruption and cash laundering in opposition to the ex-minister and a few different individuals concerned within the case, stated investigation had clearly proven that she was concerned in some acts of criminality.

He stated Alison-Madueke was consequently charged earlier than the court docket in cost no: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018.

“We hereby rely on the charge FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018 dated 14th November, 2018 filed before this honourable court and also attached as Exhibit C in the applicant’s affidavit,” he stated.

The EFCC operative, who stated he had seen the ex-minister’s action, stated many of the depositions had been unfaithful.

He stated opposite to her deposition within the affidavit in aid, many of the instances which led to the remaining forfeiture of the contested property “were action in rem, same were heard at various times and determined by this honourable court.”

He stated the courts in a different way ordered the fee to do a newspaper publication inviting events to exhibit trigger why the stated property shouldn’t be forfeited to the Federal Government, earlier than remaining orders had been made.

Zaki argued that one Nnamdi Awa Kalu represented the ex-minister in response to {one of the} forfeiture purposes.

“We humbly rely on the judgment of Hon. Justice I.LN. Oweibo dated 10th September, 2019 shown in Exhibit C of the applicant’s affidavit,” he stated.

The officer stated that the opposite to her, the remaining forfeiture of the belongings which had been topic of the current software was ordered by the court docket since 2017 and that this was not set apart or upturned on attraction.

According to him, yhe properties have been disposed off by way of due procedure of regulation.

Upon mentioning the matter on Monday, Alison-Madueke’s counsel, Oluchi Uche, instructed Justice Ekwo that they had been simply been served by the EFFC on Friday and they’d want time to reply to the counter affidavit.

Farouk Abdullah, who appeared by the anti-graft company, didn’t oppose and the decide adjourned the matter till May 8 for listening to.

NAN reviews that Alison-Madueke was the Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister in the course of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.(NAN)

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