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Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki Temporarily Forfeits Ikoyi Properties To FGN

BUKOLA SARAKI 

BY FRANCIS IWUCHUKWU 

IKOYI, LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA - Two properties located at the Ikoyi area of Lagos State, Nigeria, allegedly owned by the former President of the Nigeria Senate, Bukola Saraki, was on Monday (today) temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The temporary forfeiture order came through Justice Muhammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, while delivering a ruling a ruling on an ex parte application for the interim Forfeiture which was instituted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through one of its lawyers, Nnaemeka Omewa, who had approached the Court for the order.

Specifically, the anti-graft agency requested for the order of interim forfeiture of the properties, on the reason that they were acquired through proceeds of unlawful activities.

It would be recalled that the Commission had before now  sought for four orders in respect of the controversial properties. 

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"

In his ruling on the application, Justice Muhammed Liman held that: "Relying on the application before me with the affidavit and written address, all issues raised are resolved in favour of the applicant, the application is succeed and its hereby granted."

Justice Muhammed 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 why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria. 

The EFCC in an affidavit deposed to by one Olamide Sadiq, an investigator with the commission,  alleged that the Former President of the Nigeria 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 serving 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 a new generation bank and other  banks through one of his Personal Assistant, Abdul Adama at different intervals. 

The matter has been adjourned until November 7, 2019, for report of compliance.

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