Abuja Court Orders Forfeiture of Property over Pension Scam

Posted by Don Okereke /  March 05, 2014 / in News
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 4/3/2014, secured a court order for the forfeiture of Brifina Hotel located at plot 1106 Cadastral Zone BO2, Durumi District, Abuja. The EFCC was able to establish that the property was bought with stolen pension funds embezzled by an erstwhile Director in the Pension department of the Office of the Head of Service, one Dr. Sani Shuaibu Teidi. According to the EFCC, Dr. Teidi denied ownership of the said property but the original owner averred that the property was sold to Dr. Teidi for N339 million. EFCC's investigation confirmed that the property was acquired by Dr. Teidi using one of his front companies - Badawulu Ventures. Dr. Teidi is currently facing a 22-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, conspiring to commit fraud, concealing the origin of stolen pension funds totalling about N18.3 billion amongst others.

The EFCC is said to have earlier secured an interim forfeiture order on the Property from Justice Adamu Bello hence when the matter subsequently came up for hearing, the Commission's Counsel, Mr. Godwin Obla prayed the Court to grant his prayers for the final forfeiture of the Property in line with the provisions of Section 264 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), Section 34 (i) of the EFCC Act and the rules of the Federal High Court since it is established that the property was acquired from the proceeds of crime. The Defence Counsel, Mr. James Ogwu Onoja did not contest the Prosecution's application as he cited that his client was not aware the property was purchased with money from the proceeds if crime. The presiding judge, Justice Ademola granted the Prosecution's prayers and ordered that Brifina Hotel be forfeited to the Federal Government forthwith.

It seems it is increasingly becoming attractive to launder 'ill-gotten wealth' in real estate. Imagine a Civil Servant embezzling a whooping N18.3 billion naira and acquiring a real estate property (a hotel) to the tune of N339 million in cash, not through a mortgage. Nigeria we hail thee!!!

References/Sources
http://thenationonlineng.net/new/fha-targets-25000-housing-units-in-abuja/

http://www.channelstv.com/home/2014/03/04/winners-emerge-in-first-draw-of-lagos-h-o-m-s/

http://www.theguardianmobile.com/readNewsItem1.php?nid=23323

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