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N5bn Corruption Trial: Enugu State Government Tampered With Seized Properties of Companies Associated with Nnamani – EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today complained to a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that the Enugu state government had tampered with the assets of companies associated with the former governor of the state, Chimaroke Nnamani.

The four companies which had on May 19, 2015 pleaded guilty to a 10-count amended charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are Rainbownet Nigeria Limited, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nigeria Limited and Renaissance University Teaching Hospital. The companies are alleged to have failed to comply with lawful inquiry made by the Commission.

Their assets are central to the review of facts of the four companies linked to the ex-governor which was fixed for today, June 11, 2015 by Justice Mohammed Yinusa. But the trial judge had to adjourn the review to July 7 after counsel to the EFCC, Kelvin Uzozie told the court that he was still working to get a schedule of all the assets and properties of the companies.

He told the court that in the course of preparing the schedule it was discovered that some of the assets and properties have been taken over or tampered with by the immediate past government of Enugu State.

“We discovered that most of the properties have been allocated to their friends, family members or political office holders. We are interested in getting all the assets as there was an interim forfeiture order by the court on the assets and properties. We believe it is not right for anybody no matter how highly placed the person may be to tamper with properties that are before the court. We want the properties to be harmonised.” he said.

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According to the EFCC counsel, 21 properties in Gulf Estate on which there was an interim forfeiture order, were discovered to be sold.

Also, Ebeano Tunnel which had 22 Duplexes when an interim forfeiture order was made has been taken over by the state government and renamed Fidelity Estate and sold to various individuals.

In addition, Block of 15 Residential Houses at Ebeano Housing has been taken over by the state government and sold to Hospitality Company which has now built an event centre on the land.

Chimaroke Nnamani was first arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar in 2007.  The ex-governor was docked alongside Sunday Anyaogu, his then aide and six firms linked to them: Rainbownet Nigeria Limited, Hillgate Nigeria Limited, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nigeria Limited, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

The case was re-assigned to Justice Charles Archibong following the transfer of Justice Abubakar, now of the Appeal Court, out of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court. Again, the case was re-assigned to Justice Yinusa, after Justice Archibong (now retired) was also transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.

According to the charge, Nnamani conspired with other accused persons to launder funds from the state treasury, especially monies meant for the local government areas of Enugu state.


Media & Publicity
11th June, 2015