Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Federal High Court in Minna, Niger State, has ordered the interim forfeiture of some assets belonging to a former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu.
The PUNCH on Tuesday obtained the Certified True Copy of the court’s order made on June 27, 2018.
The document showed that the forfeited assets comprised two duplex houses in Minna, a farmland with 12 chalets and four resort buildings at Birgi Minna, and the sum of N57m, all of which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said were linked to proceeds of crimes the former governor was being prosecuted for.
Justice Yellim Bogoro, following an application filed by the EFCC, ordered that the assets would remain temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government pending the trial of Aliyu and his co-defendant, Mr Umar Nasko.
Both men are being prosecuted before the judge by the EFCC on charges of conspiracy and diversion of over N1bn ecological funds which the state was said to have received from the Federal Government in 2014.
After hearing the EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Ben Ikani, who moved the application for the interim forfeiture of Aliyu’s assets, on June 27, 2018, Justice Bogoro made among others, an order “granting the chairman of the commission (EFCC) or any officer authorised by him for the interim forfeiture of two duplexes along Peter Saki Street, Minna, Niger State, belonging to Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, a former governor of Niger State, pending the hearing and determination of this criminal suit instituted against him in charge number, FHC/ABJ/CR/71/2017.”
The judge also made a similar order for the “interim forfeiture of a farmland containing a 12-room chalet and four resort buildings located at Birgi Minna, Niger State, belonging to Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu, a former governor of Niger State.”
She also ordered the “interim forfeiture of one Toyota Prado Jeep, one Lexus and two Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps” which the former governor, allegedly “acquired with proceeds of unlawful act and diversion of public funds.”
The judge also ordered the “interim forfeiture of the sum of N57m only recovered from Umar Mohammed, the 2nd defendant” and directed that the money be “paid into the commission’s recovery account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
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