The Federal Government has been authorised to take over two houses belonging to the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos gave the temporary forfeiture pronouncement on Monday, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The houses are located at Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.
The Commission told the court it discovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011, when Saraki was the State Governor and believed that the houses were developed with proceeds of unlawful activities.
An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, said in an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application that the move for the forfeiture of the houses followed the findings of the EFCC after investigation and “the report of a committee set up to review sales of Kwara State Government during the reign of the Governor of Kwara State in the year 2003 and 2011.”
He said the EFCC also received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011.”
Sadiq said, “Whilst the investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.
“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:
“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.
“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.
“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”
Counsel for the commission, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Aikawa to order their temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government.
Justice Aikawa granted the request and directed the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper.
The Judge adjourned the case till December 17 for anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.