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Court orders final forfeiture of N150m plaza of Kwara civil servant to FG

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MICHAEL OLANREWAJU, Ilorin

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, the State Capital, on Thursday ordered the final forfeiture of a Plaza valued at N150 million belonging to a Civil Servant in Kwara State, Rasaq Momonu to the Federal Government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Office had approached the Court to give an order of final forfeiture of Asmau Plaza situated along University Road, Tanke Area of Ilorin after a reasonable suspicion that the said property was acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.

Delivering the Judgment in the case of Thursday, Justice Oyinloye held that the EFCC had fulfilled all the requirements of the law in the suit and thereby orders that the said property should be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“I have gone through the application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.  I also sighted the hearing notice issued to the respondent in the suit, Rasaq Momonu. This Honourable Court is persuaded that he had been served with the Court Processes”

“The application brought by the EFCC is meritorious and granted.  This Honourable Court hereby ordered the final forfeiture of the Landed property known as Asmau Plaza, Tanke Road,  Ilorin , Kwara State to the Federal Government of Nigeria “, the Judge said.

In the affidavit deposed to by Musa Gidado, an investigating officer with the EFCC, urged the Judge to order the final forfeiture of the Plaza which is suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

Gidado said: “Investigations revealed that Rasaq Momonu used his influence as Accountant with Kwara State Government to inflate and award contracts for the construction of two classrooms at Ogbondoroko and Obanisuwa Community In Kwara State”

“Investigations further revealed that the respondent who is a Civil Servant that earns less than N100,000 in a month cannot afford to build the house known as Asmau Plaza between 2010 and 2012″.

Gidado stated further: “That I know as a fact that the respondent was confronted with the above findings by the applicant which he did not dispute and has agreed to forfeit the property known as Asmau Plaza to the Federal Government of Nigeria”.

Moving the application for final forfeiture on Thursday, Counsel to the applicant, Nnaemeka Omewa urged the Court to grant the order based on the provisions of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

Omewa said: “My Lord, we have a motion on notice dated 19th July 2019 and filed on the same day, the motion is brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advance Fee fraud and other fraud related Offences,  I urged the Court to grant the motion.

Justice Oyinloye, however, granted the application and resolved all the issues raised in favour of the EFCC.

The Judge also said the order for final forfeiture should be published in two National Newspapers.

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