A court of appeal in Quebec, Canada, has dismissed an appeal brought before it by former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, Dauzia Etete.
Etete was seeking a leave to appeal a judgment given on August 4, 2020 by Justice Martin Castonguay of the Superior Court, District of Montreal, who dismissed the former minister’s appeal on the forfeiture of his Bombardier Global 6000 jet aircraft.
The former minister is alleged to have acquired the private jet through illicit gains from the Malabu scheme where he allegedly transferred valuable petroleum assets for his personal benefit in a series of fraudulent and corrupt transactions carried out during his time as minister.
The Nigerian Government accused Etete of making use of a company, Tibit Limited, as front in the ownership and operation of the aircraft.
However, Etete’s appeal was dismissed and denied on Thursday by Justice Robert Mainville during a virtual court hearing on the grounds that the former minister had failing in challenging the allegations leveled against him by the Nigerian Government. Therefore, lacked a reasonable chance in securing an appeal on the forfeiture of the aircraft.
The affidavit document seen and sworn by Babatunde Olabode Johnson, a lawyer recruited by the Nigerian Government to identify and manage claims on the recovery of proceeds of corruption by Etete, contained detailed information revealing how the aircrafts purchased by Etete used frontmen in channeling funds used in the purchase of the aircraft.
The affidavit also highlighted the Nigerian Government’s fears on why the recovery of the aircraft might be “jeopardized without the seizure”.
In the affidavit, Babatunde said, “Although the general lack due diligence, this case, lamentable, what is clear from my investigations into this transaction is that there were several ‘professional frontmen’ who traded on their ability to hide assets. Borgas is a dishonest enabler, and Ickonga, his codirector, was shrewd enough to take Tibit’s records to Brazzaville to block any attempt to have them disclosed by order this court. When Borgas stepped down as a director Etete found Russa, another proxy, to step in.”