Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former Minister of Petroleum under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, has taken a step towards recovering her assets that were seized last year.
Nairametrics gathered that the embattled former minister pleaded that a Federal High Court should give a vacate order to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs Madueke also sought an order extending the time within which she could seek leave to apply to the court for an order to set aside the EFCC’s public notice issued to conduct the public sale on her property, and the case adjourned until May 8 for hearing.
This comes as the EFCC planned to conduct a public sale of all assets seized from Alison-Madueke beginning from January 9th as contained in its public notice following court judgments issued in favour of the commission as final forfeiture orders against property and personal effects of the former minister.
Madueke’s plea: They revealed the motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/21/2023 dated and filed January 6th by her lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, before Justice Inyang Ekwo, the ex-minister sought five orders from the court, as EFCC is the sole respondent in the suit.
- “The former minister, who argued that the various orders were made without jurisdiction, said these “ought to be set aside ex debito justitiae. She said she was not given a fair hearing in all the proceedings leading to the orders, saying
- “The various court orders issued in favour of the respondent and upon which the respondent issued the public notice to conduct a 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.”
Diezani added that she was neither served with the charge sheet and proof of evidence in any of the charges nor any other summons howsoever and whatsoever in respect of the criminal charges pending against her before the court.
- “The several applications upon which the courts made the final order of forfeiture against the applicant were obtained upon gross misstatements, misrepresentations, non-disclosure, concealment and suppression of material facts and this honourable court has the power to set aside same ex debito justitiae, as a void order is as good as if it was never made at all.
- “The orders were made without recourse to the constitutional right to a fair hearing and right to property accorded the applicant by the constitution.
- “The applicant was never served with the processes of court in all the proceedings that led to the order of final forfeiture,” she said, among other grounds given.
EFCC counters: Meanwhile, the EFCC in a counter affidavit deposed to by Rufai Zaki, a detective with the commission, urged the court to dismiss Alison-Madueke’s application, stating that the Minister was therefore charged before the court in charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/208/2018.
What you should know: Nairametrics reported last October that an Abuja division of the Federal High Court ordered the final forfeiture of assets belonging to Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the country’s embattled former minister of petroleum resources.
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon ordered the forfeiture of two properties and two luxury cars following an application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Nairametrics also gathered that while the two properties are valued at $2.6 million and N380 million, the luxury cars are valued at N36 million.