A Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday ordered the interim forfeiture of two properties located at the Ikoyi area of Lagos belonging to former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the federal government.
Justice Muhammed Liman, made the order of interim forfeiture on Saraki’s properties while delivering ruling on an ex -parte application for the interim forfeiture filed by the Ilorin zonal office of 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 of the properties on the ground that they were acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.
The commission had sought for four orders in respect of the controversial properties.
Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC include “an order forfeiting to the federal government landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A 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.
“An interim order forfeiting to the federal government, the landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No 17 McDonald Road, Ikoyi in Eti Osa Local Government Area, found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.”
In his ruling, 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 succeeds and its hereby granted.”
The justice 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(s) why the properties will not be permanently forfeited to the federal government.
The EFCC in an affidavit deposed to by one Olamide Sadiq, an investigator with the commission, alleged that the former President of the Senate acquired the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activity.
Part of the affidavit reads: “Trend of cash lodgements 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 state government and paid directly into his account domiciled in Zenith Bank and other banks through one of his Personal Assistant, Abdul Adama at different intervals.
The matter has been adjourned till November 7, for report of compliance.