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Seized asset: High Court rejects request

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has denied the request of Governor Ayodele Fayose Ekiti state seeking the release some of his houses seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, had on July 20 granted EFCC an order of interim forfeiture of the properties for 45 days, which lapsed on September 4, The Nation reports.

Following the expiration of the court’s earlier order of forfeiture, Fayose applied to the court for the release of the property, which comprised four units of four-bedroom at Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, Plot 100 Tiamiyi Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos; 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja and Plot 1504 Yedseram Street, Maitama, Abuja.

But the EFCC opposed Fayose’s application as academic, on the grounds that it had got another forfeiture order from another judge, having discovered that Fayose allegedly acquired the said assets, using other individuals and firms.

The court in its ruling on Monday, December 19, declined Fayose’s request to direct the EFCC to unseal the properties, citing a fresh order made by Justice Okon Abang (also of the Federal High Court, Abuja) on November 3.

However, Justice Dimgba noted that the EFCC could not continue to hold on to the houses on the strength of his order, which lapsed on July 20.

He said: “In the light of the foregoing, I hold that the prayer on the motion is hinged on this court’s order of July 20 and affirmed on August 2, being a consequence of the order which lapsed on September 4.
“It is my further holding that the continued sealing and occupation of the said seized properties are hinged on the order of November 3 given by Justice Abang.

“This court is unable to comment on the order made by Justice Abang.”
He said Fayose was entitled to approach Justice Abang’s court with his application for the setting aside of the order made on November 3.

The judge, however, asked Fayose to investigate the circumstances surrounding the exparte application” with which the EFCC obtained the November 3 order to verify if the anti-graft agency made full disclosure of the history of orders on the said property to Justice Abang.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti state has accused Governor Ayo Fayose of planning to hijack the federal government’s N-Power scheme.

The party in a statement by its publicity secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, on Monday, December 19, warned Ayodele Fayose against misinforming the beneficiaries of the federal government’s N-Power scheme in the state, The Eagle online reports.

Olatunbosun alleged that Fayose recently assembled hundreds of Ekiti state youths enlisted by the federal government to benefit from its employment scheme at the government house under the impression that the scheme was state owned.

The party said Fayose even went as far as making promises of stipends and other conveniences, including churning out details of what they should do and what they should not do in his attempt to hijack the project to his advantage.

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