Criminal Law

Kola Aluko loses at Appeal Court, forfeits $18m Abuja house, others to FG

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday dismissed a suit by Kola Aluko, an associate of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, seeking to reclaim some of his assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
One of the assets of the oil magnate is a mansion in Abuja, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said is valued at about $18million.
In a judgment on Friday evening, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja described as unmeritorious the appeal filed by Aluko and dismissed it.
Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, who read the lead judgment, upheld the argument by lawyer to the EFCC, Victor Ukagwu that the January 14, 2020 judgment by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court be affirmed.
Justice Williams-Dawodu, in affirming the Federal High Court judgment, held that the Court of Appeal found no reason to disturb the finding of the trial court.
Aluko had, in his appeal marked: CA/A/617/2020 challenged the January 14, 2020 judgment by Justice Abang.
Justice Abang had, in the judgment, granted 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 other five properties include Plot 1390 Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos and Plot 1391, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, popularly called Avenue Towers.

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