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Court Orders Interim Forfeiture of 14 Properties, N400m Allegedly Linked to Kogi Govt

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Court Orders Interim Forfeiture of 14 Properties, N400m Allegedly Linked to Kogi Govt

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The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State, has issued an order of interim forfeiture of 14 properties in Lagos, Abuja and the United Arab Emirates linked to the Kogi State Government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said.

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the court issued the interim order on Wednesday.

The judge, Nicholas Oweibo, according to the commission, also ordered “the preservation of the sum of N400 million” recovered from one Aminu Falala.

EFCC said the interim order of forfeiture of the money was issued on the ground that it “is reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity and intended to be used for the acquisition of Plot No. 1224 Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island Lagos.”

The judge issued the order following an ex-parte application filed by the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC.

The application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by Adekunbi Mojibola, an investigating officer with the commission.

Moving the application today, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, stated that the properties, including “Hotel Apartment Community, Burj Khalifa lying, being and situate at, Plot 160 Municipality NO 345-7562, Sky View Building No 1, Property No 401, Floor 4, Dubai U.A.E.”, were reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity.

In his ruling on the application, Mr Oweibo granted the application, as prayed and directed the commission to publish the interim order within 14 days for any interested party to show cause why the forfeiture order should not be made permanent in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The judge then adjourned the case until 28 March.

It will be recalled that the EFCC recently arraigned a nephew of Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.

The governor’s relation, Ali Bello, was on 8 February, arraigned alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyada Sadat on money laundering charges. The offences, according to the anti-graft agency, involved alleged misappropriation of over N3 billion.

Mr Bello’s wife, Rashida Bello, who is allegedly involved in the alleged crimes, is said to be on the run.

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