Assets forfeiture: Court fixes date for ruling on Saraki’s property

Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on March 5, 2020, adjourned until April 24, 2020 for ruling on the final forfeiture of two properties belonging to a former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is seeking the final forfeiture of Saraki’s properties situated at 17 & 17A, McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa, Lagos.

Moving the application for the final forfeiture of the properties, counsel to the applicant, Nnaemeka Omewa, told the court that the motion, dated February 2, 2019 was supported by a 10-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Olamide Sodiq, an investigative officer with the EFCC.

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“Our motion is praying this honourable court for an order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the properties on 17 and 17A, McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa, Lagos, found and recovered by the Commission from the respondent, which is believed to have been acquired through the proceeds of unlawful activity,” said Omewa.

Omewa further told the court that the properties were acquired with a loan obtained from Guaranty Trust Bank and paid back by money suspected to have been diverted from the coffers of the Kwara State government.

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“There are also written statements from some officials of the Kwara State government on how the money was taken from the covers of the state government and used to pay back the loan,” he said.

Omewa, therefore, urged the court to look at the merit of the application and all the exhibits attached in granting the reliefs sought.

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However, counsel to the respondent, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN, in his counter-affidavit, urged the court to reject the application by the EFCC.

Ogunwumiju further argued that the EFCC had not been able to prove that the money used to pay back the loan was acquired by any illegal activity.

Ogunwumiju, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the motion seeking the final forfeiture of the properties and rule in favour of the respondent.

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