The battle of wits between the Kogi State Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) entered a new phase on Wednesday following with Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos granting an interim forfeiture of 14 properties in Lagos, Abuja and the United Arab Emirates linked to the Kogi State Government.
The Judge also ordered the preservation of the sum of N400,000,000.00 (Four Hundred Million Naira) recovered from one Aminu Falala, which “is 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.”
A statement by Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesman said Justice Oweibo granted the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by Adekunbi Mojibola, an investigating officer with the EFCC.
Moving the application today, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, stated that the properties, including “Hotel Apartment Community, Burj Khalifa lying, being and situate at, Plot 160 Municipality NO 345-7562, Sky View Building No 1, Property No 401, Floor 4, Dubai U.A.E.”, were reasonably suspected to have been derived from unlawful activity.
In his ruling on the application, Justice Oweibo granted the application, as prayed and directed the Commission to publish the interim order within 14 days for any interested party to show cause why the forfeiture order should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The case was adjourned till March 28, 2023.
The cat and mouse game between the Kogi government and the EFCC has been on for years, shortly after the commission said it discovered billions to the government in a bank account. The state government swiftly denied ownership.
The last Court brawl between the two is one involving the Governor’s nephew, Ali Bello; his wife, Rashida; and at least three others over a N3 billion found in an account.