Justice Muhammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties belonging to the immediate past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki located in Ikoyi area of the state to the federal government.
Justice Liman gave the order while delivering ruling on an exparte application to that effect filed by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).
The anti-graft agency through one of its lawyers, Nnaemeka Omewa, sought the order on the ground that the properties were acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.
Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC include “an order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, 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 of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the Landed Property with its appurtenances situate, lying and known as No 17 McDonald Road, Ikoyi in Eti Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.
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In his ruling, Justice Liman held, “relying on the application before me with the affidavit and written address, all issues raised are resolved in favour of the applicant, the application succeed and its hereby granted.”
Justice Liman also ordered the EFCC to publish the order of forfeiture of the two properties in a National Daily within fourteen days for any interested party or parties to show cause while the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the government.
The EFCC in an affidavit filed in support of the application and deposed to by one of its investigators, Olamide Sadiq, alleged that the Former President of the Nigerian Senate acquired the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activity.
Part of the affidavit reads, “trend of cash lodgments 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, a former Nigeria Number three Citizen while served as the Executive Governor of Kwara State, withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara State Government and paid directly into his account domiciled in Zenith and other Banks through one of his Personal Assistant, Abdul Adama at different intervals.
The matter has been adjourned till November 7, 2019, for report of compliance by Justice Liman.