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Court orders forfeiture of Kwara civil servant’s N150m property


Man ‘impersonates’ lawmaker, ‘forges’ INEC sealA Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, on Thursday ordered the forfeiture of N150 million plaza belonging to a civil servant, Rasaq Momonu.

It followed a plea by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the court should give an order of final forfeiture of Asmau Plaza on University of Ilorin road, Tanke area of the metropolis.

EFCC argued that the said property was acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.

In the affidavit deposed to by an investigating officer with the EFCC, Musa Gidado, urged the court to order the final forfeiture of the plaza.

Gidado said: “Investigations revealed that the owner of the property, Momonu, used his influence as accountant with Kwara State Government to inflate and award contracts for the construction of two classrooms at Ogbondoroko and Obanisuwa communities, Asa Local Government area of the state.

“Investigations further revealed that the respondent who is a civil servant that earns less than N100,000 in a Month, cannot afford to build the house known as Asmau Plaza between 2010 and 2012.

“That I know as a fact that the respondent was confronted with the above findings by the applicant which he did not dispute and has agreed to forfeit the property known as Asmau Plaza to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

EFCC counsel Nnaemeka Omewa urged the court to grant the order based on the provisions of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

Omewa said: “My lord, we have a motion on notice dated July 19, 2019 and filed on the same day, the motion is brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advance Fee fraud and other fraud related offences.  I urged the court to grant the motion.”

Delivering his judgment, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye held that the EFCC had fulfilled all the requirements in the suit and thereby ordered that the said property should be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“I have gone through the application brought by the EFCC,  I also sighted the hearing notice issued to the respondent in the suit, Rasaq Momonu.

“This court is persuaded that he had been served with the court processes.”

The judge said the application brought by the EFCC is meritorious and the court, therefore, orders the final forfeiture of the landed property.

Justice Oyinloye resolved all the issues raised in favour of the EFCC. He also said the order for final forfeiture should be published in two national newspapers.

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