The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been ordered by the Federal High Court in Lagos to return the two forfeited houses owned by the Federal Government to former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The court reversed its order of interim forfeiture of the Ilorin properties to the Federal Government.
The release of the house was ordered back to Saraki by Justice Rilwan Aikawa while delivering judgment on an application by the EFCC seeking to permanently forfeit the houses to the Federal Government.
In December 2019 the EFCC secured interim of the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – to the FG after telling the court that they were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.
But attempts by the EFCC to convert the temporary forfeiture order to a permanent forfeiture order was vehemently resisted by Saraki, leading eventually to the discharge of the temporary forfeiture order on Thursday by Justice Aikawa.
The judge said he found no sufficient basis in the EFCC application and that he could not “find my way through” to grant the permanent forfeiture order.
In its application, the EFCC had told the court how it received and investigated “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011,” when Saraki was the governor of the state.