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Court misled into granting temporary forfeiture order, says Saraki

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Nigeria’s former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has faulted an order granted by a Federal High Court in Lagos for a temporary forfeiture of his property following an ex-parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“My attention has been drawn to an Order granted by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos pursuant to an ex-parte application by EFCC,” Saraki’s spokesman Yusuph Olaniyonu said in statement.

“It is my belief that the Judge was misled into granting this Order and was not presented with the full position of the law or the facts,” he added.

Justice Mohammed Liman on Monday ordered a temporary forfeiture of two houses “lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi” Lagos State following an ex parte application by the EFCC.

The judge also directed the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper.

Justice Liman gave Saraki or anyone interested in the property to appear before him within 14 days to show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Nigerian government

EFCC alleged in a supporting affidavit that Saraki, who served two terms as Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011, “withdrew over N12bn cash from the account of the Kwara State Government and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistants, Abdul Adama, at different intervals.”

However, Olaniyonu said “the declaration of the Supreme Court are brought before the Court, this Order will be vacated.”

“The Supreme Court specifically referred to No 17a McDonald Road, Ikoyi on pages 12, 13 and 26 of its judgment upholding the no-case submission made before the Code of Conduct Tribunal,” he added.

“I also believe that the Court was not made aware that the property in question formed part of the judgment of the Court given on July 6, 2018 where the Supreme Court declared that the source of funds for the purchase of the property was not illicit as claimed by the prosecution.”


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