Crime

Saraki Kicks as EFCC Moves Permanent Forfeiture of his Properties in Ikoyi

Immediate past Senate president, Bukola Saraki on Thursday, opposed an application before a Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking final forfeiture of two of his Ikoyi properties.

The said properties are located at 17 and 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had obtained an interim order of forfeiture on the properties in November 2019.

The judge, Mohammed Liman, had then adjourned the case for any interested party to appear and show cause why a permanent order should not be made.

The court had also ordered that the interim order be published in a national newspaper to alert such interested parties.

EFCC applied to court to forfeit the properties to the government, on the grounds that they were obtained with loans from GTBank and repaid back with Kwara State fund.

Kehinde Ogunwunmiju (SAN), counsel to Mr Saraki, informed the court that he was already a successful businessman with properties worldwide before he became a senator.

He said the EFCC must satisfy the court that such properties formed part of proceeds of any unlawful act by the respondent.

Respondent’s Counsel informed the court that both the interim and the attempted permanent forfeiture of the two properties was an abuse of court process.

Counsel further argued that the EFCC was also estopped from re-litigating the same properties because it had litigated on same before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) up to the Supreme Court but lost.

He said Justice Taiwo Taiwo had made an order restraining EFCC from filing such a case adding that the order was still subsisting.

Meanwhile some of the facts presented by the EFCC before the court are that Saraki while serving as Governor of Kwara, was deducting N100 million from security votes to defray the loan.

EFCC counsel, Nnaemeka Omenwa, argued that the judgment of the CCT dismissing the case, did not vest property rights on Mr Saraki.

He urged the court not to be persuaded by the argument of counsel but hold in favour of applicant.

Mr Liman has adjourned until April 24 for judgment.

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