Saturday , 15 June 2024

Corruption Saga : Court orders seizure of 46 houses, land linked to ex-NSITF boss Olejeme

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an order of interim forfeiture of 46 property, including houses and parcels of land, suspected to belong to a former chairperson of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mrs. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted the order in a ruling on a motion ex parte argued on Wednesday by Ekele Iheanacho, a lawyer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Taiwo ordered the EFCC to publish the order in a national daily to enable anyone who is interested in the affected property to show cause within 14 days why the assets should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge fixed July 27, 2020, as the return date.

The 46 property, listed in documents filed at the court, are said to be located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bayelsa and Delta states.

The EFCC claimed, in a supporting affidavit, that Olejeme acquired the property with public funds she allegedly diverted while serving in the NSITF between 2009 and 2015.

One of the property is said to be located at 2 Kainji Crescent, off Lake Chad Crescent, Maitama, Abuja (also known as Plot 738 Cadastral Zone AO5, Maitama, Abuja, which the EFCC claimed she acquired in 2012 at N1.3 billion.

The EFCC alleged that Olejeme acquired the property with funds she received as kickbacks from contractors through third parties.

It said: “During Mrs. Olejeme’s tenure as aforestated, she collected a cumulative sum of USD $48,485,127.00 from Chuka Eze (her Account Officer in First Bank Plc), Henry Sambo Ekhasomi (the Director of Finance of NSITF), Aliyu Zubairu (Director of Corporate Affairs -NSITF), Adebayo Aderibigbe and Abubakar Umar.

“The said USD $48,485,127.00 represents the dollar equivalent of kickbacks paid to BDC (bureau de change) by contractors/consultants of NSITF on Mrs. Olejeme’s instructions as well as payments to the BDC operators directly from NSITF account.”

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