Saraki asks court to lift order on forfeited houses

By Robert Egbe

 

Former Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to discharge an order temporarily forfeiting two of his Ikoyi properties to the Federal Government.

Justice Liman, on October 21, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses “lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi” to the Federal Government.

The judge ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper.

He adjourned till on Thursday for anyone interested in the houses to appear before him to show cause why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

At the resumed proceedings yesterday, EFCC counsel Abdullahi Idris told the judge that the order was published in The Nation as ordered by the judge.

But the former Senate President’s counsel, Akinyemi Aremu, told Justice Mohammed Liman that he had filed a motion to discharge the interim order of forfeiture.

Read Also: Forfeited houses: Saraki asks court to lift order, challenges jurisdiction

Aremu also informed the judge that he had filed a preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

Justice Liman fixed December 5 to hear from Saraki and any other interested party on why the properties should not be permanently forfeited.

The EFCC, in an affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Olamide Sadiq, alleged that Saraki acquired the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activity.

It alleged that Saraki, who served two terms as Kwara State governor between 2003 and 2011, “withdrew over N12bn cash from the account of the Kwara State Government and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith banks through one of his personal assistants, Abdul Adama, at different intervals.”

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