EFCC behind London court travail, Ekweremadu tells judge
• Allegation untrue, says EFCC counsel, Tahir
• Ex senator seeks vacation of forfeiture order on 40 properties
A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of being responsible for his travails at the London Court, where he is in detention.
The senator, who has been in custody in London over an alleged organ harvest, told the Federal High Court that the anti-graft agency wrote a letter to the London Court, which led to refusal to admit him to bail.
Ekweremadu’s allegations were contained in an application he filed before the Nigerian court, seeking an order to set aside an interim order granted in favour of the Federal Government for forfeiture of 40 of his properties in the country and outside the country.
In the application brought by his counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, 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 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 application for forfeiture of the properties was filed and argued.
He said the anti-graft agency deliberately refused to disclose to the court that he was in a London detention 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, Silvanus Tahir, denied that his client was behind Ekweremadu’s ordeal. He admitted, though, 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 vehemently opposed request for setting aside of the forfeiture order.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo, after taking arguments from the parties, fixed January 25, next year, for ruling in the matter. The court had, on Friday, November 4, ordered interim forfeiture of 40 landed properties linked to Ekweremadu. Ekwo issued the order following an ex-parte motion filed and moved by Ibrahim Buba, lawyer to the EFCC.