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Court orders forfeiture of N3bn property linked to Army General

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Monday ordered the final and permanent forfeiture of some property belonging to four companies linked to a senior army…

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Monday ordered the final and permanent forfeiture of some property belonging to four companies linked to a senior army officer. 

The session, presided over by Justice N. E. Maha, forfeited no fewer than 20 landed properties valued at over N3,007,000,000 and owned by the top military brass, but controlled through proxies.

The property allegedly belongs to the Director of Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Jafaru Mohammed, a Major-General in the Nigerian Army.

The proxies, dragged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, included the Late General Aminu Maude and some companies: Atlasfield Integrated Services Nigeria Limited, Marhaba Events Place, Aflac Plastics and Atlasfield Gas Plant Limited.

The court had, in May 2020, ordered the interim forfeiture of the property following an ex parte application by the EFCC, alleging that the assets were proceeds of unlawful activities.

Daily Trust had, last year, reported that operatives of the commission and some soldiers attached to the Office of the NSA nearly engaged in a scuffle when the anti-graft agency’s operatives wanted to mark some of the property belonging to the military officer after securing interim forfeiture in court.

Our correspondent reports that the forfeited property, which the EFCC said were located in different parts of Kano, Katsina, Calabar (Cross River State) and Kaduna, included fuel stations, event centres, plazas, block industries, truck assembly plant, polythene production factory and table water factory. The commission explained: “Some of the property include an undeveloped plot located at Rake, Adjacent to Dara Orthopedic Hospital, Kano, valued at N300m; 117 hectares of land located at Adiabo, Oduapani LG covered by Certificate of Occupancy No. OD/23/2011 dated 21/2/ 2011 in Calabar, Cross River State, valued at N386m; truck assembly at Ring Road, adjacent to AA Affa Filling Station, Kano, valued at N206m and Marhaba Event Centre, Guda Abdullahi Road Farm Centre, Kano valued at N250m.

The court subsequently granted the final forfeiture order while ruling on the application by counsels to the EFCC, Cosmos Ugwu and Musa Isah. Efforts to get one of his lawyers, Yakubu Maikyau, proved abortive as he neither answered several phone calls nor replied a text message sent to him.

But another lawyer to the army general, Omokayode Adebayo Dada, said he was not in the position to speak on the case because he was not his counsel in that particular case.