Home Feature Tuoyo Omatsuli ex-NDDC director loses N1.8b properties to FG

Tuoyo Omatsuli ex-NDDC director loses N1.8b properties to FG

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Tuoyo Omatsuli, former Executive Director, Projects, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Monday lost properties worth N1.8billion to the Federal Government.

The properties made up of plots of land and buildings were impounded by government, via the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the orders of Justice Chuka A. Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

In May, the judge ordered the interim forfeiture of the properties, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC.

The properties are: Block 117, Plot 4, Lekki Peninsula Scheme, TPAO 992, Ikate Ancient City, Eti-Osa L.G.A, Lagos, measuring 1804.089Sqm and Plots 1-18, Block 43, TPAO 992, Ikate Ancient City, Lekki Peninsula, Eti-Osa, Lagos, measuring 10,000Sqm.

Frances Momoh: used as conduit by Omatsuli

Others are: Plot 1b, Northern Business District, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, measuring 1000Sqm and Plot 1; Block 25, Lekki Peninsula Residential Scheme 1, Eti-Osa L.G.A., measuring 2989.10Sqm.

Moving the ex-parte application, counsel to the applicant, Ekene Iheanacho, referred to paragraph four of the affidavit, detailing how a contractor with the NDDC, Starline Consultancy Services Limited was paid the sum of N10.2 billion as consultancy fee for levies collected from oil processing companies in the Niger Delta Region.

It was further stated that out of the money paid to Starline, N3.64 billion was paid as kickback to Omatsuli through a company named Building Associates Limited.

“Some of the funds were used by Building Associates to buy properties in the name of a company, Don Parker Properties Limited, where Omatsuli had majority shareholding,” Iheanacho told the court.

The applicant also told the court that one Francis Momoh, who is described as the majority shareholder in Building Associates Limited was introduced as a shareholder in Don Parker Properties Limited so as to disguise the nature of the crime.

After hearing the submissions, Justice Obiozor granted all the reliefs sought by the applicant and ordered the interim forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government.

The judge further directed the commission to publish the order in any national newspaper within 14 days, notifying the respondents or anyone interested in the properties to appear before the court and show cause why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The applicant, in compliance with the court order, published the interim forfeiture order in The Nation Newspaper of May 26, 2018.

However, the respondents on October 1, 2018, opposed the application, claiming ownership of the properties.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Obiozor held that the properties were acquired through proceeds from kickbacks received by Building Associates Limited operated by Momoh on behalf of Tuoyo.

The judge, therefore, ruled that the properties should be finally forfeited to the Federal Government. NAN

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