High Court Order in Favour of Benedict Peters
On 6 July 2018, the direct release of the forfeiture placed on Aiteo Group’s Benedict Peters’ London properties was ordered by Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako. The judgement was made in Nigeria at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
During a probe in 2016 into alleged corruption committed by former Petroleum Minister Dieziani Alison-Madueke, two of Benedict Peters’ properties were appropriated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The properties were respectively situated in Marylebone Road and Prince Albert Road in London. The forfeiture order was made and executed without any notice to Peters. It was inferred that the properties actually belonged to the former minister.
CEO Asks for Justice
Aware of the unfairness of the forfeiture order, Benedict Peters started court proceedings before Justice Murtala-Nyako and the Federal High Court. The proceedings were overseen and argued by Senior Advocate Chief Wole Olanipekun who requested the immediate release of the properties due to the unsustainability of the case. According to Olanipekun, there was no evidence provided by the EFCC that could dispute Peters’ ownership of the properties. It was emphatically stated to the court that Benedict Peters exclusively owned both properties.
Justice Murtala-Nyako ruled that the properties were legitimately acquired by Benedict Peters and can thus not be legally forfeited to the government for any reason whatsoever. She ordered that both properties are released immediately, bringing a contentious two-year battle, and legal travesty, to a positive and just end.
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