Court Rules On Fayose’s Seized Multi-Billion Naira Properties

By Ikenga Chronicles December 20, 2016

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose’s legal move to recover his seized asset on Monday, December 19 collapsed as a Federal High Court in Abuja refused to order the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to unseal and vacate some properties.

The seized houses, comprised four units of four-bedroom at Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, Plot 100 Tiamiyu Salvage, Victoria Island,  Lagos; 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja and Plot 1504 Yedseram Street, Maitama, Abuja.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba had on July 20, 2016 granted the EFCC an order of interim forfeiture of the properties for a period of 45 days which lapsed on September 4.

On Monday, Justice Dimgba, in a bench ruling to an application filed by Fayose seeking the release of the said properties, held that the EFCC could not continue to seal the houses on the account of the lapsed order made on July 20, 2016.

Justice Dimgba, however, held that he could not order the EFCC to unseal the properties because of a fresh order made by Justice Okon Abang of the same Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on November 3, 2016.

He ruled, “In the light of the foregoing, I hold that the prayer on the motion is hinged on this court’s order of July 20, 2016 and affirmed on August 2, 2016, being a consequence of the order which lapsed on September 4, 2016.

“It is my further holding that the extent that the continued sealing and occupation of the said seized properties are hinged on the order of November 3, 2016 by Justice Abang, this court is not seized of the full materials and indeed is unable to comment on the order made by Justice Abang.”

But Justice Dimgba also ruled that “the applicant [Fayose] should investigate the circumstances surrounding the ex parte 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.”

Justice Dimgba also ruled that Fayose was entitled to make use of the opinion expressed in his ruling along with the findings derived from the governor’s investigation in presenting his (Fayose’s) case before Justice Abang.

The judge ruled that contrary to the contention by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. K. Latona, during the hearing of Fayose’s motion earlier on Monday, the application by the governor was not academic since the orders he made and that which Justice Abang made touched on the same set of properties.

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