Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the initial forfeiture of two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State belonging to a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki to the Federal Government.
The properties affected by the order are designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Justice Aikawa gave the temporary order after entertaining an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The anti-graft agency had submitted in the application that it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011, when Saraki was the governor of the state.
The EFCC had anchored its case against the former Senate President on Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006.
One of the operatives of the Commission, Olamide Sadiq, who deposed to an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, claimed that the move for the forfeiture of the houses followed the findings of the EFCC after investigation.
Sadiq also alleged that the EFCC also received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011.”
He further averred that, “Whilst the investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.
“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:
“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.
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“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.
“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House,” Sadiq stated.
The anti-graft also claimed that it believed that Saraki developed the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activities.
While moving the application, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Aikawa to order the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the federal government.
After granting the order as prayed, Justice Aikawa directed the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper.
The judge then adjourned the matter till December 17 to enable anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the government.