HomePoliticsNEWSHigh Court Vacates Interim Order For Forfeiture Order Against Ekweremadu’s properties

High Court Vacates Interim Order For Forfeiture Order Against Ekweremadu’s properties

A high court sitting in Abuja has vacated the interim order of forfeiture issued on properties belonging to Ike Ekweremadu, the former deputy senate president.

On Friday, January 20, 2023, in a ruling case presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) concealed facts when it applied for an interim forfeiture of the assets.

According to the Judge, EFCC knew the predicament of Ekweremadu and his wife in the United Kingdom (UK) and despite not denying writing a letter to the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK to furnish them with information about the lawmaker, they still brought an application seeking an order for them to show cause on the assets to be forfeited.

“I do not think that the desired objective of the legislature in enacting the provision of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act (AFFOROA), 2006 relied upon by the respondent (EFCC) in initiating the proceeding to obtain an ex-parte order of interim forfeiture order was for the provision to be used in any circumstance where the person affected is not in a position to defend himself or show cause as required.

“I do not think that this position is correct. The requirement to file an affidavit to show cause pursuant to S. 17 of the AFFOROA, 2006 will hold strong in a normal situation where the person required to do so is not fettered by any act, condition, or situation that amounts to a deprivation of the right to show cause as required by law.

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“In this case, the respondent (EFCC) wrote Exhibit SIE 2 (a letter) to the Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom which letter was used as evidence to deny Senator Ike Ekweremadu bail in the criminal proceedings.

“At the same time, the respondent filed an ex-parte application for interim forfeiture which upon the order being made thereon required Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife to show cause in Nigeria why an order for final forfeiture ought not to be made.

“I have been asking myself the question repeatedly: How can a citizen of Nigeria who is incarcerated outside the country to the knowledge of the respondent, be expected to show cause in an action in Nigeria brought by the respondent?

“In other words, how do you help to tie down a man and initiate a fight and demand that the same man you have helped to tie down must defend himself?

“This, in my opinion, is an unconscionable act. The act of the respondent clearly shows that this action was brought in bad faith.

“In law, bad faith entails dishonesty of belief or purpose. On the whole, I find that the application for forfeiture, going by the facts of this case has not been brought in good faith and ought to be struck out.

“Once more, this court needs to apply the test of reasonableness of the act of the respondent in initiating the proceeding leading to the interim forfeiture order. I have done so and found this applicant’s ex-parte wanting in that respect.

“Consequently, I make the following orders:

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“An order is hereby made setting aside the interim forfeiture order of the properties of Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his companies made by this court on the 4th day of November 2022, upon the ex-parte Originating Motion filed by the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 27 July 2022.

” The entire proceeding initiated by the respondent is hereby set aside,” Ekwo stated.


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Mary Ama
Mary Ama
A passionate writer with the sauce. I do that to get you entertained without a 404 page.

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