Court Orders Final Forfeiture of Emefiele’s N11.14 Billion Properties to FG

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Godwin Emefiele and Justice
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The Federal High Court in Lagos has mandated the permanent forfeiture of properties valued at N11.14 billion, along with an additional N1.04 billion in assets, linked to former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele, to the Federal Government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke issued this decisive order following a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through its counsel, Chineye Okezie. The properties, primarily situated in affluent areas of Abuja, were suspected to have been acquired through fraudulent means, involving proxies. Notably, two current and one former CBN staff members were implicated as accomplices in these allegations.

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The EFCC had previously secured an interim forfeiture order on June 5, 2024, a decision that went uncontested. This lack of opposition paved the way for Justice Aneke to grant the application for permanent forfeiture, instructing the EFCC to publicize the order in a national newspaper, thus finalizing the legal process.

The forfeited assets encompass a variety of high-value real estate, including shops and apartments in the prestigious Cadastral Zone of Maitama and Wuse, as well as land and additional apartments collectively valued at N1.04 billion. These were purportedly acquired on behalf of an individual named Oluwaseun.

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According to the EFCC, the involved CBN staff exploited their positions to secure foreign exchange allocations in return for kickbacks. Olubunmi Makinde, one of the accused, allegedly acted as the intermediary between the CBN staff and the companies seeking these foreign exchange allocations.

The case underscores ongoing efforts by Nigerian authorities to clamp down on corruption within the financial sector. The successful forfeiture of these assets reflects a broader commitment to reclaiming funds and properties obtained through illicit activities, thereby reinforcing the integrity of the nation’s financial institutions.

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The forfeiture of Emefiele’s assets is a landmark step in the fight against corruption and financial mismanagement in Nigeria. As the government continues to pursue accountability and transparency, such actions are crucial in restoring public confidence in the country’s economic governance.

The Federal High Court’s ruling not only serves as a cautionary tale for public officials but also highlights the critical role of judicial processes in upholding the law and ensuring that justice prevails in cases of financial impropriety.

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