A Federal High Court in Lagos will on April 24 rule on whether to forfeit to the Federal Government two properties belonging to former Senate President, Bukola Saraki in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Justice Mohammed Liman fixed the date yesterday upon resumption of proceedings in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC on October 21 obtained an order of interim forfeiture on the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi.
It alleged that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.
But on Thursday, the ex-senator told the court through his counsel Mr Kehinde Ogunwunmiju SAN that he was already a successful businessman with properties worldwide before he became governor.
He contended that the EFCC must satisfy the court that the properties were proceeds of an unlawful act, adding that the application for permanent forfeiture was an abuse of court process.
According to him, the EFCC was estopped from re-opening litigation on the properties because it had litigated the same matter from the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to the Supreme Court and lost.
He told the judge that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja made an order restraining EFCC from filing such a case, and that the order was subsisting.
EFCC counsel Mr Rotimi Oyedepo opposed him.
Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC include: “An order of this honourable court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.
The commission alleged that while serving as Kwara State Governor, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the state’s account and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.