Eventful In Partnership with FirstBankClearing the air of any grumbling over the seized properties from some Niger State civil sevants, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, today, explicated the motive behind seizure of 24 property and several cars from three officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta.
Speaking in a Television programme in Abuja, ICPC chairman, explained that those property were extremely mush for an individual to possess, having regards to their present emoluments and all other relevant circumstances.
The Niger Delta ministry officers whose properties were confiscated are Poloma Kabiru Nuhu, Mangset Longyl Dickson and Daniel Obah.
Nta said the decision is to prevent the subjects from disposing the properties before the conclusion of the ongoing investigation of the officials.
According to the Chairman, “the commission is of the opinion based on the aforementioned investigation that these movable and immovable property owned by these people who are staff of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are excessive, having regards to their present emoluments and all other relevant circumstances.
“The chairman of ICPC has the powers to seize properties, and preventing those being investigated from selling them off until we conclude investigation and the matter has been charged to court or that we are of the estimation that your earnings cannot support it”.
The commission is empowered by its law to carry out such act whenever necessity is required. A document dated August 11 2015 with the title ‘Notice of Seizure of Movable and Immovable Properties Pursuant to Section 45(4) a – (b) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000, the commission seized the property from the officials who are under investigation.
The decision to seize the property had been served on the appropriate Land Registries and Departments in all the states where the property are situated.
“The onus is on you to prove that these are properties you have acquired legitimately. The act of seizure does not mean that we have found you guilty; it is just to preserve the property.
“The next step is to go to court, you that I have seized the property from can go to court to challenge that but if you do not challenge me within one year, I can also go to court and ask the court to forfeit the property to the federal government of Nigeria,” he said.
He further said “We cannot act outside of the law, otherwise people might tend to abuse such powers, so we are very careful in doing that, and that doesn’t stop at properties alone but also vehicles and monies in the
“I have tried in ICPC not to have my premises littered with hundreds of vehicles that we may seize or may have seized so the law also provides that if you have not been found guilty, only the law can do that, you can keep the vehicle but you will have to sign a bond, if the court finds you guilty and you for any reason are not able to produce the car, you pay the equivalent amount.”
Fact gathered from the chairman revealed that one of the officers, Nuhu, has 10 hectares of land, covered by Right of Occupancy at Kuje worth at N50m with an unfinished duplex at Diamond Estate, Apo, Abuja that is worth N90m.
The same man also has 16 plots of land which are all covered by Certificate of Occupancy in different parts of Gwagwalada, Abuja.
On the part of Dickson, he is said to have a plot of land at Kubwa District, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, valued at N7m.
The third official, Obah, is said to own different plots of land in Abuja and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Nta said Obah has a four-bedroom duplex at Karsana South District, Abuja, valued at N60m and a plot of land at Ozuoba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Other plots of land said to belong to Obah are located in Umuodili Odubo Community in Rivers that worth N16.5m; Olipobo Rumuekini Layout, Obio Akpor Local Government Area valued at N18m and another plot at Livingstone Estate Umuogodo, Igbo Etche in Obio Akpor Local
Government of the Rivers State.