A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, ordered a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Clement Onubuogo Illoh alleged to have been involved in the Sure-P scam to permanently forfeit N664million and $137,680.11 to the Federal Government. Trial judge, Justice Saliu Seidu, granted the order at the resume trial of the former permanent secretary.
Counsel to Illoh, Mr. T.S. Awana, had informed the court that his client had 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 added that the case being a civil case and the discussion between his client and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on the need to settle out of court, he would be withdrawing the two applications.
Counsel to EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, in his submission, confirmed the move to settle out of court, stating that he would not be opposing the withdrawals of the two motions by the defendant and urged the court to strike out the motions for the coast to be clear for out of court settlement. Oyedepo further 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. Awana did not oppose the application which paved the way for EFCC to move the motion for the final forfeiture of the other properties, said to have been procured with proceed of suspected illegal act. In moving the application for final forfeiture of the properties, EFCC counsel, told the court that since the defendant had withdrawn their counter affidavit, the prosecution was left with no option than to move the motion for final forfeiture of the properties.
According to Vanguard, Justice Saidu consequently granted the application ordering the defendant to forfeit N437, 348,181.16 found by EFCC in possession of the former Permanent Sec, reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity. The court also order the final forfeiture of another N97, 300.613.44 found by the commission in the defendant’s account. The defendant was also ordered to forfeit another N129, 826,452.00 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. He was also ordered to forfeit to the Federal Government the sum of $137, 680.11.