Ex-Perm. Sec. Clement Illoh Forfeits N664m, $137,680.11m to FG

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Ex-Perm. Sec. Clement Illoh.

A Federal High Court, in Lagos  today, ordered a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour  and Productivity, Dr Clement Illoh Onubuogo, who was alleged to have been involved in the Sure-P scam, to permanently forfeit the sum of N664m and $137, 680.11m, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.The court presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu, granted  the forfeiture order at the resume hearing of a suit filed against the former Permanent Secretary the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumption of the case today, Onubuogo’s lawyer, 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 for forfeiture of the properties in question.

Awana however, added that the case 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.

  1. lawyer to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, in his response, confirmed the position of the move to settle out of court and stated that he will not be opposing the withdrawals of the two motions filed by the defendant and urged the court to strike out the motions for the coast to be clear for out of court settlement.While making further submission, Oyedepo told the court that based on the discussion and agreement reached between the 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.

    Clement’s lawyer, 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 I have been suspected to be proceed s 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application for final forfeiture of the properties EFCC counsel, Oyedepo told the court that since the defendant has withdrawn their counter affidavit, the prosecution is left with no option than to move the motion for final forfeiture of the properties.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 of the 5th of September 2017, wherein we are seeking the final forfeiture of the properties listed in prayers 1,2,3 and 4.’

    Oyedepo said the motion was brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act number 14, 2014.

    The prosecution said the application for final forfeiture is supported with nine paragraphs affidavit and two exhibits. ‘We also filed a written address in support of the motion as their argument in support of the motion’

    The prosecution therefore urged the court to grant their application for the final forfeiture of the properties as contain in prayers 1,2,3 and 4 in the face of the motion papers..

    The application was not opposed by the defendant

    Justice Saliu Saidu consequently granted the application ordering the defendant to forfeit the sum of N437,348,181.16 found by EFCC in possession of Onubuogo, which sum is reasonably suspected to be  proceeds of unlawful activity.

    The court also order the final forfeiture of another N97, 300, 613.44 million, found by the Commission, in the respondent’s account.

    The defendant was also ordered to forfeit another sum of N129, 826, 452 million, found 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 EFCC, had on April 3, 2017, arraigned  Clement O. Illoh, before Justice Babs O. Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Lagos on a three-count charge bordering on failure to declare his assets.

    The accused person was alleged to have failed to disclose the source of the sum of N97, 300, 613.44 million, found in his account.

    He was also alleged to have warehoused the sum of $139, 575. 50, and £10, 121.52, respectively in his account.

    The offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 23(3)(c) of the Financial Crimes Commission (Establish) Act .

    The accused person had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had 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.

The trial judge, Justice Kuewumi had admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.
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