Lagos - Justice Mohammed Yinusa of the Federal High Court, Lagos has convicted four companies associated with former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, and ordered that their properties be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The four companies are Rainbownet Nigeria Limited, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nigeria Limited and Renaissance University Teaching Hospital
The companies had on May 19 pleaded guilty to a ten-count amended charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The companies are alleged to have failed to comply with lawful inquiry made by the Commission.
At Wednesday sitting, counsel to the EFCC, Kelvin Uzozie, prayed the court to make an order of final forfeiture of the companies based on their plea. Justice
Yinusa after reviewing the facts convicted the companies and made an order of final forfeiture of their assets to the Federal Government, citing provision of the EFCC Establishment Act on Final Forfeiture.
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The properties are located across the five states in the South East geopolitical zone.
Aside the landed properties, over N35 million from the frozen bank accounts of the companies are also to the forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Uzozie said the commission had to sought for a separate trial of the companies as the first accused person, Nnamani had stalled proceedings on the matter on account of frequent application to travel abroad for medical treatment on grounds of ill-health.
Chimaroke Nnamani 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 were first arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar in 2007.
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, governor between 1999 and 2007, conspired with other accused persons to launder funds from the state treasury, especially monies meant for the local government areas of Enugu State.
- CAJ News