11 January 2018

Nigeria: EFCC Tells Court to Order Final Forfeiture of Ikoyi Property

Lagos — Justice Saliu Saidu of a Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed January19, 2018 to entertain and rule on a motion filed by interested party before the final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Flat 7B, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The anti-graft agency said that the wife of the sacked Director-General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, (NIA), Folashade Oke, is the owner of the flat. The property warehoused the sums of $43.3 million, £27,800, and N23 million in cash.

The commission said it found out that Mrs. Oke made a cash payment of $1.6 million for the purchase of the flat between August 25 and September 3, 2015.

Arguing the motion for permanent forfeiture yesterday, EFCC's lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, said that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 empowers the court to order the final forfeiture of the property.

He added that Section 44 (2) (k) of the Constitution also permits the take-over of a property in view of an enquiry.

"This motion has its root in the Constitution and we urge the court to grant it in view of the fact that Chobe Ventures which allegedly used proceeds of unlawful activities to acquire the property in issue had not controverted the averments as to the source of the money," he said.

Earlier, an interested party, Union Bank Plc, had urged the court to discharge the interim order of forfeiture placed on the property.

The bank's lawyer, E. N. Ayuba, told Justice Saidu that his client filed the motion seeking the discharge of the interim order to protect its interest in the property.

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