By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
A former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu on Thursday at the Federal High Court in Abuja accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of been responsible for his travails at the London Court where he is standing trial, and in detention.
The Senator who has been in custody in London over an alleged organ harvest suit told the Federal High Court that the anti-graft agency wrote a letter to the London Court that made the court to refuse to admit him to bail.
Ekweremadu’s allegations were contained in an application he filed before the Nigerian court seeking order of the court to set aside an interim order granted in favour of the Federal Government for the forfeiture of his 40 properties within and outside the country.
In the application brought by his counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, Ekweremadu claimed that the forfeiture order was granted the Federal Government in error because the EFCC suppressed information and facts in respect of the properties.
Specifically, the detained Senator alleged that the EFCC fraudulently obtained the forfeiture order for government by concealing information that investigation on the 40 properties started as far back as 2008.
Among others, he alleged that the EFCC was fully aware that he was in detention in London when the application for forfeiture of the properties was filed and argued.
He said that the anti-graft agency deliberately refused to disclose to the court that he was in detention in London and would not be able to counter the forfeiture request.
The Senator therefore prayed the court to set aside the forfeiture order and stay proceedings in the matter until he resolves his ordeal before the London Court.
However, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Silvanus Tahir SAN, denied that his client was behind Ekweremadu’s ordeal.
He, however, admitted that EFCC wrote the London Court based on a special request adding that it was a normal routine for anti-graft agencies to exchange information that would be of help to one another.
Tahir did not oppose request for stay of proceedings till Ekweremadu fully resolves his matter before the London Court but, however, vehemently opposed the request for setting aside of the forfeiture order.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo after taking arguments from parties fixed January 25 next year for ruling in the matter.
The Court had on Friday November 4 ordered interim forfeiture of 40 landed property linked to Ekweremadu in some parts of the country and outside the country.
The judge issued the order following an ex -parte motion filed and moved by Ibrahim Buba, lawyer to the EFCC.
Ekwo, who granted the motion, ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the interim forfeiture order on the properties in a national daily within seven days.
The judge had directed that anybody who had interest in the properties to indicate within 14 days of the publication of the interim forfeiture order on why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The affected properties include 10 property in Enugu, three in the United States of America, two in the UK, one in Lagos, nine in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate and 15 located in the Federal Capital Territory