In a significant development, a Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a final forfeiture order for properties valued at over N11.14 billion and N1.04 billion, belonging to the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The order was granted by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke after considering a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), presented by counsel Chineye Okezie.

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In his ruling, Justice Aneke stated, “Having thoroughly reviewed the application and submissions of counsel, I hereby order as follows: a final forfeiture order of this honorable court is made, forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the properties listed in Schedule A herein, which were traced and reasonably suspected to have been acquired through unlawful activities.”

Furthermore, the judge declared, “A final forfeiture order of this Honourable Court is hereby made, forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the properties listed in Schedule B herein, which were found to have been acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.”

The properties include various lands and apartments, with a total value of N1.04 billion, which were paid for on behalf of Oluwaseun.

The affidavit reveals that Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo, along with Olubunmi Makinde, utilized their positions and influence as CBN staff to secure retail and special allocations of foreign exchange for different companies in exchange for kickbacks.

The affidavit further states, “Obayemi Oluwaseun Teben and Akomolafe Adebayo, as staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, have access to the bidding processes and bidding data of companies applying for the approval of form Ms to the CBN through their respective commercial banks.”

On June 5, 2024, Mr. Aneke granted an interim forfeiture following a motion by EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo. The judge also directed the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper, inviting any interested parties to show cause why the final forfeiture order should not be issued.

With no contestation of the interim order on June 21, Chineye Okezie proceeded with her motion for permanent forfeiture.

This ruling serves as a strong message against corruption and reinforces the commitment of the Nigerian legal system to take decisive actions in combating financial crimes.