The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of 11 houses and 22 bank accounts linked to Delta-North Senator, Peter Nwaoboshi.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo made the order on July 2 but a certified true copy of the order was only issued on July 5 (Friday). The judge issued the order following an ex parte application by the Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.
The ex parte application was moved by the panel’s lawyer, Celsus Ukpong, who described the assets as suspicious or suspected to be far beyond the legitimate income of Nwaoboshi.
Although, Ukpong had applied for interim forfeiture of 14 landed assets, the judge only granted the request in respect of 11, as he exempted three of them that were without addresses from the order.
The affected properties include, Suiming Electrical Company (RC 1090069) located along Asaba Airport Road, Asaba, Delta State; PON Filling Station, along Asaba Airport Road, Asaba, Delta State and a multi-billion naira estate under construction at Maryam Babangida Road, Asaba, Delta State.
They also include, Cartage Cinema located at Okpanan Road, beside Rain Oil Petrol Station, Asaba, Delta State; Newbridge Filing Station, along Airport Road, Warri, Delta State; and a house at No. 8, Monu Olarewaju Crescent, GRA, Asaba, Delta State.
The rest are, a multi-million building located at 41, Buma Road, Apapa, Lagos; Guinea House, No. 27, Marina Road, Apapa, Lagos; Plot 3011B, Kuranah Close, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, and Ceedeez School Hall Airport Road, Asaba Delta State.
Those exempted are Plot on C of O No. 16800, Plot on C of O No. 16711 and Plot on C of O 13988. The judge also ordered the interim forfeiture of 22 bank accounts with Zenith Bank, Access Bank and Sterling Bank linked to Nwaoboshi.
Some of the bank accounts are held in the name Hon. (Barr) Peter Nwaoboshi, and Nwaobosh Peter, Sen Peter Nwaoboshi. The rest are held in the name of firms linked to the senator, which are Suiming Electrical Ltd PVC Account, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited and Obi Francis Nwaoboshi Foundation.
The judge’s order read in part, “It is hereby ordered as follows:
“That interim order is hereby made forfeiting all the property alleged to belong to the 1st respondent being suspicions assets or assets far beyond the legitimate income of the 1st respondent particularly those on the amended schedule to this application pending the investigation
“That an order is hereby made restraining the 2nd to the 5th respondents from posting any debt or making any withdrawals on all the accounts belonging to the 1st respondent (Nwaoboshi) particularly those on the amended schedule attached to this application. That the properties listed in the schedule attached in this order that carry no address i.e items 6, 7 and 8 are exempted from this order.”
The court also ordered that the respondents be put on notice of the court order and that a publication be made in a widely read newspaper in Nigeria. He directed that “any person with interest or third party interest in the listed properties shall within 30 days of the publication show cause why the propertie(s) shall not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria permanently.”
He said such interested applicant showing cause “shall file an affidavit in the registry of this court with copies of documents attached showing ownership of the properties”.
The judge adjourned till October 8.
by Linda Ikeji