Justice Muhammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, ordered the interim forfeiture of two houses located at Ikoyi area of state, linked to the immediate past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The court gave the order while delivering ruling on an ex-parte application for the interim forfeiture filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), through one of its lawyers, Nnaemeka Omewa, who had approached the court for the order.
EFCC had sought the order of interim forfeiture on the ground that they were allegedly acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.
Part of the reliefs 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 of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.”
Ruling of the application, Justice Liman held that “relying on the application before me with the affidavit and written address, all issues raised are resolved in favour of the applicant, the application is succeed and is hereby granted.”
Liman also ordered the EFCC to publish the order of forfeiture of the two properties in a national daily within 14 days for any interested party or parties to show cause while the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.
The EFCC alleged that Saraki 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 accounts (exhibit EFCC 3) using fictitious names.”
The EFCC further alleged that Saraki, while serving as the governor of Kwara State, withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara State Government and paid directly into his accounts in banks through one of his Personal Assistants, Abdul Adama, at different intervals.
The matter has been adjourned till November 7, 2019, for report of compliance.