The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an appeal against a ruling that dismissed its case to seize 14 properties and N400m connected to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
The notice of appeal was filed by EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), on April 26, shortly after Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos dismissed the order of interim forfeiture that had been granted to the agency on February 22.
The properties, located in Lagos, Abuja, and the UAE, include the Hotel Apartment Community, Burj Khalifa, at Plot 160 Municipality NO 345-7562, and Sky View Building No 1, Property No 401, Floor 4, Dubai U.A.E.
The judge upheld Bello’s argument that he was immune from prosecution under the 1999 constitution, and therefore, the EFCC could not seize the cash and properties, even temporarily. However, the EFCC argued that Bello’s immunity did not extend to properties suspected to be proceeds of crime traced to him.
The agency further contended that the court erred in law when it struck out the suit and preservation order of properties suspected to have been derived from unlawful activities, despite Bello’s failure to show the genuine origin of funds used to acquire the properties. The appeal hearing date has not yet been set.