Former top bureaucrat in Nigeria, Clement Illoh Onubuogo, has forfeited N664,475,246.60 and $137,680.11 found in his accounts. Also forfeited were two buildings, one of them a hotel in Delta state.
The forfeiture order was made today in Lagos by Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court.
Onubuogo, was the former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
He and 15 other persons were alleged to have lodged the funds illegally into their accounts.
The order of the court was sequel to an affidavit of urgency filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In the affidavit in support of the motion ex -parte sworn to by an operative of the EFCC, Huleji Abraham Tukura, the deponent averred that the special task force of the anti graft agency received an intelligent report against Clement Illoh Onubuogo that funds meant for various SURE-P programmes under the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment were stolen, diverted and converted to personal use.
The Federal Government of Nigeria released over N10 billion for the programme under the ministry.
Out of this amount, the commission traced N876,981,225.05 to Onubuogo, which he had converted to his personal use, by awarding fictitious and fraudulent contract to his company, Clement & Bob Associate.
He also used his position to receive kick back /gratification from various contracts under the SURE -P program using his staff and front companies.
From kickbacks received, he made cash payment into Clement & Bob Associate account number 1013449507 using fictitious names to the tune of N81,110,250.00.,while he received the total sum of $600,000 USD proceed of unlawful activity which he converted to N103,200,000.00 and paid into the Same company account.
Mr Takura averred further that,Onubuogo awarded a contract to one of his companies Ojeagu Farms Limited where he is a Director and sole signatory to the account of the company.
In respect of this company, he converted N90million to his personal use and made further cash deposits totalling N9,968,000.00 into the account using fictitious names.
He received another N37,802,000.00 through Agoha Joseph Emeka, a staff of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment for his personal gain.
Through Ojeagu Global service, a company owned by his family, Onubuogo also converted the sum of N159,770,383.45.
He concealed N123million in undeclared Access Bank and First Bank accounts.
Onubuogo was also linked to a dubious contract awarded to himself, one John Tsokwa and Salisu Kura to the tune of N29,168,654.00. He was said to have directly taken N10,500,00.00 out of the so-called contract sum.
The EFCC also deposed that one Tejuoso Atalabi, owner of Armadillo Nigeria Limited and Boldblock Construction Limited was fraudulently awarded contracts in the sum of N116,756,748. Tejuoso Atalabi retained the total sum of N45,719,640. He is a relation of Onubuogo.
The EFCC said it has recovered from Onubuogo, N545,588,266.72 stolen from the account of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The commission also recovered total sum of N129,826,452.00 from his accomplices.
These were mentioned as Salisu Bala Kura, Rabiu Said, Tonye Isokeiri, Buhari Maaji Dahiru, John Tsokwa Lanky, Ahmed Mahmoud Music, Muktar Sufism, Udoh Nnamdi, Umar Bello Mashi, Salogu Karo, Usman Bello, Ahmed Mohammed Makki ,Umar Abubakar, Aliyu Abubakar, and Enape Victoria.
Mr Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court in the interest of Justice to issue an order of interim forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria the monies and properties found in possession of the respondent which is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity to wit stealing.
In his ruling the presiding vacation judge Abdulaziz Anka ordered interim forfeiture of the monies and properties as stated in the motion papers to the Federal Government of Nigeria
Justice Anka also ordered that the order of the court should be published in any national Newspaper for Clement Illoh Onubuogo or anyone who is interested in the money and properties sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.