Abuja court orders forfeiture of N131m, properties reportedly stolen from Ministry of Power

Abuja court orders forfeiture of N131m, properties reportedly stolen from Ministry of Power

- A Federal High Court in Abuja orders the final forfeiture of N131m and multi-million naira properties bought with funds reportedly stolen from the Federal Ministry of Power

- The forfeiture order is issued with respect to an application by the EFCC against seven defendants

- The properties in question are located in Abuja, Kaduna, Kogi and Nassarawa states

The sum of N131m and multi-million naira properties bought with funds reportedly stolen from the Federal Ministry of Power has been forfeited to the federal government.

This followed a final forfeiture order issued by Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, December 18, against seven persons and two companies, The Nation reports.

The forfeiture order was issued with respect to an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the defendants.

The defendants are Bilikisu Fatolu, Fatolu Shuaib Gbolahan, I. I. Ikwuegbu, Nwachukwu Ogbonna C., Elvic Hotel, Abdullahi Aminu Hamcheta, Shamia Exclusive International Ltd, Abdullahi Abubakar Danburam and Dada Matthew Olugbenga.

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The properties in question are located in Abuja, Kaduna, Kogi and Nassarawa states.

They include a unit of three bedrooms, two units of shops, a shop in an open space, a plot of land, Elvic Hotel with an events hall, generator house and appurtenances, a piece of land, eight units of shops and restroom.

Others are a plot of land, one unit of two bedroom detached bungalow, two units of shops, two hectares of land and bank drafts and cheques bearing the sum of N131.237,800.00.

When delivering the forfeiture order Justice Taiwo stated that the defendants did not file any counter affidavit to show that the properties and the huge sum of money found in the accounts of some of them are not proceeds of crime.

These defendants are said to have stolen money from the Ministry of Power by fraudulent schemes and that they were arrested and they all volunteered written statements," the judge said.

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“They were said to have acquired properties with the stolen money, yet they filed no counter-affidavit to these very weighty allegations of criminality. In any case they were said to have admitted during the investigation to have stolen the funds from the Ministry of Power.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC on Thursday, December 19 commenced processes involved in the auctioning of 244 vehicles forfeited to the federal government by illegal oil dealers.

The exercise was flagged-off by the commission's secretary, Ola Olukoyede, together with a team of senior officers of the EFCC. The initial auctioning processes took off at the premises of the Police Officers Wives Association open ground in the old Government Reservation Area, G.R.A, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

The processes involved allocation of bidding slots to registered auctioneers. So far, 11 registered auctioneers have been shortlisted for the exercise.

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