The EFCC has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja for a fresh interim forfeiture order of six properties in Lagos and Abuja linked to Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Despite that EFCC’s fresh application was filed “ex parte”, in addition to the claim that nobody has claimed the properties , Fayose, through his counsel Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed a preliminary objection to the forfeiture order sought.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, on July 20, 2016, granted the EFCC an order of interim forfeiture of the properties for only 45 days.
The order was renewed by the commission on November 3, 2016, from Justice Okon Abang, who was sitting in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Adter Justice Abang redeployment to Delta, the EFCC, through its counsel, Mr. Offem Uket, last month, filed the ex parte application, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/388/18, asking Justice Dimgba to “vacate” the earlier order made by Justice Abang and impose a fresh order of interim forfeiture of the properties.
Four of the properties numbered as Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, are each four-bedroom apartment located at Plot 100 Tiamiyu Salvage, Victoria Island, Lagos while the other two are located at 44 Osun Crescent and Plot 1504 Yerdseram Street, both in Maitama, Abuja.
In its fresh application, the EFCC said that the properties were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities, involving funds fraudulently transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The Maitama property was said to have been acquired in the name of Spotless Investment Limited, a company whose bank account is said to be run by Fayose and his wife.
While the other Abuja property at 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, was said to be acquired in the name of one Mrs. Moji Ladeji, the four chalets in Lagos were said to be “acquired in the name of J. J. Technical Limited”.
Abiodun Agbele, an aide to Fayose, and Spotless Investment Limited are facing trial with two other companies on charges involving taking N1,219,000,000 said to be part of a total N4,685,723,000,000 from ONSA’s account with the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2014.
The two other companies are Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, linked to a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, and his sons and De Privateer Limited run by Agbele.
It was alleged that the funds were released in June 2014 to fund Fayose’s governorship election.
While insisting that the properties, which their forfeiture to the Federal Government was being sought were subjects of the ongoing criminal trial, the EFCC explained that the funds from ONSA’s account was fraudulently transferred to Sylvan Mcnamara Limited (Obanikoro’s company).
Last month, a lawyer from Ozekhome’s law firm, Mr. Mr. Godwin Iyinbor, appeared in the case for Fayose “in protest” against the proceedings.
He noted that he had filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the EFCC’s motion ex parte.
Uket objected to the protest since the motion being considered was ex parte.
But Justice Dimgba said he would hear Iyinbor September 27 since the issues raised had to do with the court’s jurisdiction.