The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an order of interim forfeiture of 14 properties 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 and argued by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, (SAN).
Mr Oyedepo informed the judge that the properties, including the one in the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, were reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity.
Justice Oweibo also authorised the EFCC to confiscate the sum of N400million also linked to the state and recovered from one Aminu Falala.
Mr Oyedepo also told the court that the N400m was reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity “and intended to be used for the acquisition of Plot No. 1224 Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.”
Oyedepo told the judge that the application followed the EFCC’s probe of “damning intelligence of monumental fraud allegedly perpetrated by some principal officers of Kogi State Government and their cronies.”
The senior lawyer alleged that through the fraud “huge sums of money belonging to the Kogi State Government were fraudulently converted and used to either outrightly acquire properties or renovate already existing but dilapidated buildings” within and outside Nigeria.
He informed the judge in suit FHC/L/CS/301/2023 that the properties, including the one in the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, were reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity.
The judge also directed the (EFCC) 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.