A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday ordered the interim forfeiture of two former Senate President Bukola Saraki’s properties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Recall that the Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in an exparte application filed by the commission’s lawyer Nnaemeka Omewa had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties,
According to the EFCC, the properties were acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.
Delivering ruling on the application, Justice Mohammed Liman said the EFCC should publish the order in a national daily within fourteen days and further the matter for report of compliance with the order of court.
The commission had sought for four orders before Justice Liman, in respect of the controversial property.
Part of the relief sought by the EFCC include, “an order of this honourable court forfeiting to the federal government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as no. 17a Mcdonald road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos state found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity ”
“An interim order of this honourable court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the landed property with its appurtenances situate, lying and known as no 17 Mcdonald road, Ikoyi in Eti Osa local government area , Lagos state found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity ”
Justice Liman, relying on the documents attached to the matter, resolved all the issues raised in favour of the EFCC.
The commission in an affidavit alleged that the former president of the Nigerian Senate acquired the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activity.
Part of the affidavit reads, “trend of cash lodgments into Saraki’s account became suspicious and in order to further disguise the source and origin of this money, the respondent changed the pattern of payment and started making payments into exhibit EFCC 3 using fictitious names ”
The EFCC further alleged that Mr Saraki, while serving as Governor of Kwara State, withdrew over 12 billion cash from the account of the government and paid directly into his account domiciled in Access and Zenith banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama at different intervals.