Weeks after confirmation as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, the commission has lost its bid to seize some assets belonging to former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
On Thursday, a Federal High Court in Lagos rejected an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking permanent forfeiture of some assets belonging to the former Kwara state governor.
It would be recalled that Saraki had come under investigation for alleged corruption and misappropriation of funds during his tenure as the Senate President of the National Assembly.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had in October 2019, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the two properties located at 17A, McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos states as the commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the government and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistants, Abdul Adama.
Reacting to the latest judgement in a statement, Saraki revealed that the court said EFCC had failed to provide evidence to support its claims that his properties were paid for with funds sourced from the Kwara State Government House.
“The Court further held that the evidence before it showed the purchase of properties was legal and as such cannot be said to be done with the proceeds of crime.
“In 2018, the Supreme Court held that there was no evidence to support the claims of corruption leveled against me by the agency while giving its judgment in appeals filed before it challenging the judgments of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Court of Appeal,” the former Kwara State governor added.
Saraki added that he believed the Judiciary to be an institution that upheld the rights and liberties of citizens in a democracy and praised the court for “upholding the laws of our land.”
The Attorney general of the Federation, Abubakar Malami inaugurated the inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Forfeited Assets and announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the selling off of forfeited assets in 6 months.
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