An associate of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Kolawole Aluko, has lost his bid to reclaim some of his assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
One of the assets is a mansion in Abuja, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says is valued at about $18 million.
Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, who read the lead judgement in a three- man panel of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, described the appeal filed by Aluko as unmeritorious and dismissed it.
She further upheld the argument by counsel to the EFCC, Victor Ukagwu, that the January 14, 2020, judgement by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court be affirmed.
Justice Williams-Dawodu, in affirming the Federal High Court judgement, held that the Court of Appeal found no reason to disturb the finding of the trial court.
In his appeal, Aluko challenged the January 14, 2020, judgement by Justice Abang. In the said judgement, Justice Abang granted the EFCC’s application for final forfeiture of the assets traced to Aluko.
In the application argued by Ukagwu, the EFCC had said the $18m Abuja mansion which is “very close to the seat of power at the Presidential Villa, is made up of a guest house, boys quarters, security outpost, swimming pool and underground control room for the remote control of electrical appliances in the property.
“The property is furnished with luxury and very expensive items.”
Justice Abang had, in an earlier ruling in 2016, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the Abuja mansion and five other properties.
The five other properties include Plot 1390 Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos and Plot 1391, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, popularly called Avenue Towers.