EFCC vs Saraki: What happened in court on Tuesday

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A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos State on Tuesday fixed February 5 to take arguments on the objections raised by a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the permanent forfeiture of his houses in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The court had on December 2, 2019, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the Federal Government.

In a preliminary objection before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, Saraki, through his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), filed a preliminary objection, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court,

He said the new suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was an abuse of court processes noting that same subject matter was still pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja before Justice Taiwo Taiwo.

The EFCC had, in the suit filed before Justice Aikawa, claimed that the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.

The judge then adjourned for Saraki to appear before him to give reasons why the houses should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In his preliminary objection filed before the court, Saraki described the suit as an abuse of court processes and a move to scandalise him.

The former governor of Kwara, stated that the suit is a ploy by the EFCC to review the July 6, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court which discharged “the applicant from culpability arising from the same money and houses which are the subject matter of this action”.

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