Court Rejects Senate’s Bid To Reclaim Seized Property
Bamidele Fashube, ABUJA, Nigeria (GVE) – A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Nigeria has rejected an application by the senator representing Delta North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi to reclaim a 12-storey building seized from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The seizure which followed an allegation bothering on a N1.5bn contract scam was pursuant to an interim order made by Justice Abdulaziz Anka on April 24, 2017.
Nwaoboshi had, through his lawyer, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), filed an application seeking to discharge the temporary forfeiture order.
According to him, the application leading to the interim forfeiture order was an abuse of court processes.
He contended that Justice Anka ought not to have made the order because as he the judge does not have jurisdiction to entertain the case.
Idigbe accused the EFCC of suppressing material facts before Justice Anka urging the judge to vacate the interim forfeiture order.
Justice Anka, however, in a ruling on Wednesday, dismissed Nwaoboshi’s argument, holding that the court could not restrain a security agency from carrying out its statutory functions.
He said;”Investigation activities will not be stopped by the court against the agency while it is carrying out its statutory duties; this will amount to pre-empting the investigative powers of the agency. Investigation activities cannot be stopped by the court.”
The EFCC had earlier told the judge that Nwaoboshi, through his company, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited, got a N1.580bn contract to supply some construction equipment to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency sometime in 2010.
The anti-graft agency, however, claimed that Nwaoboshi’s company supplied second-hand equipment to the agency while he actually collected money to supply new equipment, thereby short-changing the agency.
The EFCC claimed that Nwaoboshi later used the proceeds of the alleged scam to purchase the 12-storey building, formerly known as Guinea House, for N805m in the name of his company, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited.