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Court orders forfeiture of N116m for constituency projects

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Justice A.R. Muhammad of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday granted an order for interim forfeiture of N116 million linked to the non- execution of constituency projects awarded to one Hamza Barau and Hamshakin Ventures Limited by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on behalf of some federal lawmakers.

The order was given following an ex-parte motion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pursuant to Section 44(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act No 14, 20006.

The affected projects included a Strategic Empowerment Programme in Akko, Gombe State, a Pilot Seasonal Intervention Programme in Vandeikya/Konshisha, Benue State, provision of Strategic Empowerment Programme in Katsina-Ala/Logo/Ukum, Benue State, Intervention Programme for Ailing Enterprises in Vaneikya/Konshisha, Benue State and the supply of motorcycles in Kiyawa, Jigawa State.

The contractors allegedly failed to execute any of the projects after mobilisation.

Prosecution counsel, Ekele E. Iheanacho had told the court that the funds sought to be forfeited were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities and prayed the court to grant the prayer of the commission.

Justice Muhammed subsequently adjourned the matter till November 19, 2019.


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