Court affirms forfeiture order on Nwaoboshi’s Lagos property
Justice Abdulazeez Anka of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos yesterday affirmed the interim forfeiture of a property belonging to representative of Delta North in the Senate, Peter Nwaoboshi.
Justice Anka had, on April 24, 2017, granted an interim forfeiture of the said property, a 12-floor high rise building to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Counsel to Nwaoboshi, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), had approached the court to quash the order on the grounds that the applicant misrepresented and concealed material facts to the court.
He also filed a subsisting suit against the applicant and that the court lacks the jurisdiction to grant the order. Idigbe further informed the court that there was no criminal process to warrant the order as defendant was not under investigation and has not been arrested, searched or invited.
He said the interim forfeiture order violated his client’s right to own property, as guaranteed in Section 43 of the 1999 Constitution.However, EFCC counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, opposed the motion and urged the court to uphold the interim forfeiture order.
He disclosed that the commission discovered that Nwaoboshi got a contract through his company, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited to supply construction equipment to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency (DLA) at N1.5b.
But the company supplied used construction equipment despite receiving full payment. Nwaoboshi allegedly bought the building at 29, Marine Road, Apapa for N805m in the name of Golden Touch Construction Projects Limited from the proceeds of the DLA contract.
EFCC in the interim forfeiture order granted on April 21, 2017 was to preserve the property from being dissipated. It, therefore, urged the court to refuse the application in the interest of justice.
Justice Anka, while affirming the forfeiture order, commended the EFCC for following due process, by not arresting Nwaoboshi before concluding investigations.
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