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Court Fixes Date To Hear Diezani’s Suit Against EFCC | READ FULL DETAILS

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Court Fixes Date To Hear Diezani’s Suit Against EFCC | READ FULL DETAILS

The suit filed by Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke, a former Minister for Petroleum Resources, challenging the order obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for final forfeiture of her seized assets, would be heard by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on October 23, 2023.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja, fixed the date on Wednesday, June 21, after Madueke’s lawyer, Benson Igbanoi, and EFCC’s counsel, M. D. Baraya, regularised their processes in the suit.

Recall that the now suspended chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had quoted $153 million and over 80 properties as assets recovered from Alison-Madueke.

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The anti-graft agency had planned to conduct public auction of all the assets seized from the former minister as proceeds of crime, as ordered by courts, to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

However, Madueke in a suit filed on January 6, by her lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) sought for a stay of execution order among others.

The former minister, who argued that the various orders were made without jurisdiction, said the orders obtained by the EFCC; “ought to be set aside ex debito justitia” (of or by reason of an obligation of justice: as a matter of right).

Alison-Madueke said she was not given fair hearing in all the proceedings leading to the orders.

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“The various court orders issued in favour of the respondent and upon which the respondent issued the public notice were issued in breach of the applicant’s right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as altered, and other similar constitutional provisions,” she said.

According to her, she was neither served with the charge sheet and proof of evidence in any of the charge nor any other summons howsoever and whatsoever in respect of the criminal charges pending against her before the court.

“The several applications upon which the courts made the final order of forfeiture against the applicant were obtained upon gross misstatements, misrepresentations, non-disclosure, concealment and suppression of material facts and this honourable court has the power to set aside same ex debito justitiae, as a void order is as good as if it was never made at all.

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“The orders were made without recourse to the constitutional right to fair hearing and right to property accorded the applicant by the constitution.

“The applicant was never served with the processes of court in all the proceedings that led to the order of final forfeiture,” the motion added.

Responding in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one of its detectives, Rufai Zaki, the EFCC urged the court to dismiss her application as the properties have been disposed of through due process of law.

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