Justice Abdulazees Anka of Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday ordered the serving Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Clement Onubuogo, to temporarily forfeit to the Federal Government the sums of N664.475million and $137,680.11, which he allegedly diverted from the SURE-P Programme launched by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Apart from the funds, Onubuogo was also ordered to forfeit two properties, which he allegedly acquired with funds diverted from the scheme.
One of the properties is his house known as Clement Illoh’s Mansion located at Ikom Quarters, Issala-Azegba, Delta State, while the other, a hotel, is said to be located at No. 19, Madue Nwofor Street, off Achala Ibuzo Road, Asaba, Delta State.
Justice Anka ordered the temporary forfeiture of the funds and the assets following an ex-parte application moved before him by a counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.
In the application, the EFCC said that the funds and the properties were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of stealing and bribery.
In an eight-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the ex-parte application, an investigator of the EFCC, Huleji Tukura, said the anti-graft agency uncovered how Onubuogo diverted N876.9million out of the over N10billion released by the Jonathan administration for the scheme.
Tukura said the EFCC also discovered that Onubuogo, who was saddled with the responsibility of supervising the SURE-P Technical and Vocational Educational Training, Community Service, Women and Youth Empowerment Programmes, abused his office by collecting kickbacks from contractors.
He was also accused of fraudulently awarding contracts to himself using front companies and some workers serving under him.