Following court order of temporary forfeiture of the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from a flat in a building in Ikoyi on Wednesday, the anti-graft agency has taken the money to the CBN.
Meanwhile controversy has surrounded the ownership of the building located at 16 Osborne Road where huge amounts were recovered.
As at time of this publication, about five persons and agency have been mentioned in connection with the money with two of them denying it.
Among those mentioned were, sacked MD, NNPC Retail Ltd, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and ex-governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Muazu, an unnamed daughter of former Works and Housing Minister, Anthony Anenih, incumbent Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), a government agency tasked with overseeing foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations
However, both Nnamdi-Ogbue and Muazu have denied the ownership of the house and the money found in it.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account to deny the report linking him to the money and the flat where it was found, Muazu said, “My attention has been drawn to the news making the rounds that I own the building on No.16 Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. I want to state clearly that I built the said property and sold to prospective buyers of individual flats.
“I have been a property developer since 1983 and I have developed and sold several properties all over the world, the property in question happens to be one of them. I acquired the land and jointly develop it using a bank loan, I obtained about nine (9) years ago.
“However all the flats have been sold to prospective buyers in order to pay back the loan. I do not own or occupy any of the apartments. I sold all the apartments through established estate agents as such I have no knowledge or interest in who purchases or rents any of the flats.
“I commend the efforts of the official of the EFCC and the government’s drive at fighting corruption and also the media in informing the public on illicit and corrupt proceeds.
“My response is not intended to jeopardise or interfere with the ongoing investigation of the anti-graft and security agencies but to clear the misconception that the house in question belongs to me. I strongly believe that the efforts being made will surely unveil the real owner of such flat and the monies recovered.”
Denying the reports linking her to the flat and the money, Nnamdi-Ogbue in press statement released by the law firm of her lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, Emeka Etiaba & Co, wrote, “Our Client is as shocked as many other Nigerians at the uncovering and recovery of the said sums of money and wishes to salute the courage and efforts of the EFCC in the war against corruption,” they said.
“She also wishes to commend the whistle blowing policy introduced by the Federal Government in the fight against corruption which policy has resulted in large scale uncovering and recovery of monies and assets.”