A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday granted an order of interim forfeiture of 14 property in Lagos, Abuja and the United Arab Emirates linked to the Kogi State government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted the order following an ex parte motion filed by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN).
Oyedepo informed the judge that the property, including the one in the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, were reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity.
He told the court that the N400 million was reasonably suspected to have been derived from the unlawful activity and “intended to be used for the acquisition of Plot No. 1224 Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.”
Justice Oweibo ordered the EFCC to confiscate the money recovered from one Aminu Falala and the listed property.
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He directed the commission to publish the order within 14 days for any interested party to show cause why the forfeiture order should not be made permanent.
The matter has been adjourned till March 14 for further hearing.
But, in a swift reaction, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, in a statement on Wednesday said the state government had no property that could be forfeited to the federal government under any guise, describing it as a campaign of calumny taken too far.
“For now, it is clear the EFCC has declared a tactless open war against the Kogi State Government, owing mainly to the governor’s unflinching loyalty to the All Progressives Congress and not individuals. We will prove our innocence in court. It is a matter of time,” Fanwo said.