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Saraki asks court to vacate forfeiture order on Lagos property

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A former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to discharge order of interim forfeiture of two of his properties in Ikoyi to the Federal Government.

He made the request on Thursday when the case between him and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) came up for hearing.

Justice Usman Liman had on October 21, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses said to be located at No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, to the federal government.

The judge had then asked the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper and adjourned the matter till November 7, for anyone interested in the houses to appear before him to show cause why they should not be permanently forfeited to the government.

When the matter came up on Thursday, counsel to the EFCC, Abdullahi Idris, told the judge that the order was published in The Nation as ordered by the judge.

However, counsel to Saraki, Akinyemi Aremu, told Justice Liman that he had filed a motion to discharge the order and a preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

Consequently, the judge picked December 5 for hearing from Saraki and any other interested party on why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the government.

READ ALSO : Looted funds in excess of N200bn forfeited to Nigerian govt – Malami

The EFCC claimed that Saraki acquired the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activity.

It said that Saraki between 2003 to 2011, while serving as the governor of Kwara State “withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara State Government and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith banks through one of his personal assistants, Abdul Adama, at different intervals.”

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