The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday secured an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos for the forfeiture of two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State, belonging to a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The EFCC told the court it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011, when Saraki was the governor of the state.
Based on an ex parte application filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, Justice Rilwan Aikawa ordered the temporary forfeiture of Saraki’s two properties designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.
An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, said in an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application that the EFCC moved to have the two houses forfeited after investigating “the report of a committee set up to review sales of Kwara State Government properties during the reign of the Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.”
Sadiq said the EFCC also received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011.”
He said, “Whilst the investigation was ongoing, several fraudulent transactions were discovered.
“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:
“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.
“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after the payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m would be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.
“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same would, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”
The EFCC said it believed that Saraki developed the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activities.
Counsel for the commission, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Aikawa to order their temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government.
After granting the order as prayed, Justice Aikawa directed the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper and adjourned till December 17 for anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
Reacting to the judgment, Saraki maintained his position that the application to the Federal High Court, Lagos, for interim forfeiture order on his Ilorin home by the EFCC was an abuse of the court process and a violation of a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, vowed to challenge the verdict at a higher court of competent jurisdiction.
Drama as DSS Officers Engage Sowore in Scuffle in Attempt to Rearrest Him
A mid drama ensued inside the courtroom this morning as men believed to be officers of the Department of State Service made attempt to rearrest the RevolutionNow protest convener, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore was released around 7pm on Thursday following an ultimatum issued by the court.
Ex-Abia State Gov, Uzor Kalu Bags 12 Years Imprisonment for Graft
The Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, to a maximum of 12 years imprisonment for N7.65bn fraud, among other multiple sentences ranging from 3 years to 5 years on 27 counts.
Justice Mohammad Idris also convicted and sentenced his two other accomplices who were also found guilty of N7.65bn fraud.
They got multiple sentences between 10 years and 3 years.
Kalu’s co-defendants are his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited; and Udeh Udeogu, who was Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure as governor.
The judge also ordered that Slok be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
I Don’t Mind Being Called Sycophant for Siting Transport University in Daura – Amaechi
Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, has said he does not owe anybody apology for citing the Federal University of Transportation in Daura.
Amaechi spoke on Monday in Daura, Katsina State, as President Muhammadu Buhari performed the groundbreaking for the university.
The minister, in his welcome address, said the university was his own “imagination” to ensure the availability of the manpower needed for the sustenance of modern technology, especially in railway transportation.
Amaechi said Daura was suitable for the university, stating that he would not mind being called a sycophant for saying so.
He said, “When we cited the wagon factory at Kajola, there was no noise. If by citing this university in Daura, people will call me a sycophant, I would not mind being called a sycophant.
‘Is Daura not in Nigeria? Daura is not in Chad or in Mali. Daura is in Nigeria. What is wrong in citing the university in Daura?”
The minister said 60 Nigerians were in various universities in China studying railway technology while another 90 would soon join them.
He maintained that the new university would facilitate the manpower development in Nigeria apart from promoting indigenous technology in the country.
In his comment, Buhari said the university would provide the much-needed local manpower that would promote modern technology for the development of railway technology in Nigeria.
He noted that the wagon plant at Kajola, Ogun State and the new university would boost the existing relationship and cooperation between Nigeria and China.
He thanked the Chinese government for the new institution, which he described as a huge project, stressing that the Federal Government appreciated the contributions of China to the economic and industrial development of Nigeria.
The President stressed that the project and other related ones were aimed at promoting indigenous technology in Nigeria, adding that the university would boost both the manpower and economic development in Nigeria.
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, in his address on the occasion, said the state would continue to provide the needed support and assistance for the university.