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Details: Court Grants Final Forfeiture On Telecoms Experts’ Property

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Justice Kehinde Ogundare of the Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday, May 13, 2024, ordered the final forfeiture of a parcel of land measuring 2348.072 square metres in Enugu State recovered from the duo of Babatunde Said Adeola and Kingsley Ifeanyi Adonu to the Federal Government.

Adeola and Adonu, owners of S. Mobile Netzone Limited, Biss Networks Nigeria Limited and Pristine Networks Mobile Networks Nigeria Limited, had presented themselves as telecommunications experts with flourishing businesses and joint ventures with MTN Nigeria and other companies.

The Commission (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC), however, received a petition alleging a case of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N510,000.000 (Five Hundred and Ten Million Nara) against S. Mobile Netzone Limited, Biss Networks Nigeria Limited and Pristine Networks Mobile Networks Nigeria Limited.

The funds, investigation revealed, were invested by the petitioners in the telecom businesses owned by the respondents.

Investigation further revealed that the respondents, rather than refund the petitioners or pay them interests on their investments, converted the funds into their personal use, acquired pieces of land across the country, including the property measuring 2348.072 square metres described in survey plan No. CSS/EM164/2005 along Enugu-Ezike/Obolo-Afor Road, Ogrute Enugu Ezike in Igboeze Local Government Area, Enugu State.

In view of this, the Commission, in a motion ex parte, had approached the court seeking an interim forfeiture of the property.

In a 16-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Adekunbi Mojisola, an investigator with the EFCC, the Commission prayed the court to grant the forfeiture of the property.

In granting the application, the Judge had, sometime in July, 2023, ordered the interim forfeiture of the property and also directed the publication of the same in a national newspaper.

Following the order, the Commission published the forfeiture order in the Punch newspaper of November 8, 2023 for interested parties to show cause why the property should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

In the absence of any contestation, the court today ordered the final forfeiture of the property, sequel to the application filed by the EFCC on December 13, 2023.

Credit: EFCC

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