A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today ordered that a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of labour and Productivity, Dr Clement Illoh Onubuogo, alleged to have been involved in the Sure-P scam to permanently forfeit the sums of N664million and $137,680.11to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
At the resumed hearing of the case today, counsel to Onubuogo, Mr Tom Awana told the court that his client has two applications, one challenging the jurisdiction of the court and the other for discharge of the earlier order of the court granting the interim order for forfeiture of the properties in question.
Mr. Awana however, added that being a civil case and the discussion between his client and the EFCC on the need to settle out of court, he would be withdrawing the two applications.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo in his submission confirmed the position of the move to settle out of court and stated that he will not be opposing the withdrawals of the two applications filed by the defendant and urged the court to strike out the two applications for the coast to be cleared for out of court settlement.
While making further submission Mr Oyedepo told the court that based on the discussion and agreement reached between the two parties, EFCC would be applying for the discharge of an earlier interim order of the court as regards two of the properties being sought to be forfeited to the government.
The properties are Clement Illoh’s Mansion located at Ikom Quarters, Issala Azegba, Delta State and the property lying and situates at number 19 Madue Nwafor Street off Achala Ibuzor Road, Asaba Delta State.
He then urge the court to discharge the earlier order of the court as regards the two properties only.
Mr Awana did not oppose the application which pave the way for EFCC to move the motion for the final forfeiture of the other properties said that have been suspected to be proceeds of illegal act.
In moving the application for final forfeiture of the properties EFCC counsel, Oyedepo told the court that since the defendant has withdrawn their counter affidavit the application, the prosecution is left with no other option than to move the motion for final forfeiture of the properties.
“in view of the discussion with the defendant we want to move the motion dated 5th of September,2017 wherein we are seeking the final forfeiture order of the properties listed in prayers 1,2,3 and 4.’of our application”
The prosecution said the application for final forfeiture is supported with nine paragraphs affidavit and two exhibits .
The prosecution therefore urged the court to grant their application for the final forfeiture order of the properties as contain in the EFCC application.
The application was not opposed by the defendant.
Consequently the presiding judge Saliu Saidu granted the application ordering the former permanent Secretary to forfeit the sum of N437,348,181.16 found by EFCC in his possession which sum was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
The court also order the final forfeiture of another N97,300.613.44 found by the commission in the defendant’s account.
The defendant was also ordered to forfeit another sum of N129,826,452.00 foud by the commission in possession of Salisu Bala Kura, John Isakwa Kanku, Ahmed Mahmud Muazu, Muktar Safian, Udoh Nnamdi, Umar Bello Mashi, Salogu Karo, Usman Bello, Ahmed Mohammed Makki, Umar Abubakar, Aliyu Abubakar and Enape Victoria.
Onubuogo was also ordered to forfeit to the Federal Government the sum of $137, 680.11
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday April 3rd, arraigned Clement O. Illoh, before Justice Babs O. Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos on a three-count charge of failure to declare his assets.
The accused person allegedly failed to disclose the sum of N97, 300, 613.44 Million, (Ninety Seven Million, Three Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirteen Naira, Forty-four Kobo) found in his account .
He also alleged to have warehoused the sum of $139, 575. 50 USD, (One Hundred and Thirty-nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five United States Dollars, Fifty Cent) and £10, 121.52, (Ten Thousand One Hundred and Twenty-one Pounds) respectively in his account.
The offences alleged to have been committed are contrary to and punishable under Sections 23(3)(c) of the Financial Crimes Commission (Establish) Act .
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court for a trial date.
However, the defence counsel, Tom Awhana, pleaded with the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.
Consequently, Justice Kuewumi granted the accused bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.