Justice Chuka A. Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos who ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government, had on Thursday, May 17, 2018, ordered the interim forfeiture of the properties, following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
This came after EFCC, through its counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, narrated to the court how a contractor with the NDDC, Starline Consultancy Services Limited, was paid N10, 218, 019, 060.59 (Ten Billion, Two Hundred and Eighteen Million, Nineteen Thousand and Sixty Naira) as consultancy fee for levies collected from oil processing companies in the Niger Delta Region, and how over N3.6 billion of the sum was paid as kickback to Omatsuli through a proxy company named Building Associates Limited.
“Some of the funds were used by Building Associates to buy properties in the name of a company, Don Parker Properties Limited, where Omatsuli had a majority shareholding,” Iheanacho further told the court.
The properties are: Block 117, Plot 4, Lekki Peninsula Scheme, TPAO 992, Ikate Ancient City, Eti-Osa L.G.A, Lagos, measuring 1804.089Sqm and Plots 1-18, Block 43, TPAO 992, Ikate Ancient City, Lekki Peninsula, Eti-Osa, Lagos, measuring 10,000Sqm.
Others are: Plot 1b, Northern Business District, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, measuring 1000Sqm and Plot 1; Block 25, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme 1, Eti-Osa L.G.A, measuring 2989.10Sqm.
One Francis Momoh, who is described as the majority shareholder in Building Associates Limited, was introduced as a shareholder in Don Parker Properties Limited so as to disguise the nature of the crime.
While granting the interim forfeiture order earlier in May, the Judge directed the EFCC to publish the order in any national newspaper notifying the respondents or anyone interested in the properties to appear before the court and show cause why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. In October, the respondents filed an application opposing the forfeiture order and claiming ownership of the properties.
However the Judge who ruled in court today, ordered the final forfeiture of NDDC director Tuoyo Omatsuli’s N1.8bn properties to the federal government.