Diezani Forfeits N4.8b Abuja Houses As EFCC Probes Five Other Choice Assets In Port Harcourt

Former Minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke has forfeited her Abuja properties said to be worth N4.8 billion to the Federal Government.

This is even as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have deployed to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to probe five other choice properties said to belong to the ex-minister.

The operation is part of in the ongoing probe of former Minister which is being done in collaboration with the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier seized a mansion worth N3.58billion from the ex-minister.

With a fresh seizure of another property of the ex-Minister in Abuja, allegedly worth over N500million, the total assets seized from her in Abuja alone is put at about N4.08billion.

The tracking of the assets is said to be part of the probe of about $10billion allegedly looted in cash and assets by some former public officers.

The properties under surveillance in Port Harcourt  are said to be worth over N3billion

According to TheNation, a top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “Based on latest intelligence, we have been able to trace more choice assets to Mrs. Alison-Madueke in Port Harcourt. We have drafted more operatives in Rivers State.

“We have identified more than  five of such assets but we need to verify the ownership by going through some documents before attaching the properties in line with our mandate.

“In the next one week, our team in Port Harcourt would have completed their assignment. We will then release the value of the assets.

“We are also on the trail of some accomplices who were used for the property deals.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “We are still working in collaboration with NCA in the UK. I think we are getting closer to the final leg of the Mrs. Alison-Madueke probe.”

Another property, which is believed to be worth N500million,  has been seized from the ex-minister.

The source said the property is believed to be at Frederick Chiluba Close in Asokoro  District in Abuja. The asset is now placed under interim forfeiture until the court decides otherwise,” he added.

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke the Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The sourt may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

”Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just.”

The NCA in the UK arrested and quizzed Mrs. Alison-Madueke and four others on October 2, 2015 for alleged bribery and corruption and money laundering.

Also the EFCC has interrogated three to five more suspects since the interrogation of Mrs. Alison-Madueke by the NCA.

The NCA last year obtained permission from a Westminster Magistrate’s Court to seize 27,000 pounds from Mrs. Alison-Madueke and two other women.

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Police Arrest Another Blogger In Abuja For Criticising Bauchi Governor

Barely two weeks after blogger Abubakar Sidiq Usman popularly known as Abusidiq was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC) in Abuja for alleged ‘Cyber Stalking’, another blogger, Musa Babale Azare over the same offence.

Azare, was reportedly arrested by policemen in Abuja, allegedly for criticising  Bauchi state governor, Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar.

According to eye witnesses, the policemen picked Musa up at Wuse Zone 7 drove him to an unkonown destination in a police car with registration number YDB217AA.

Activists have set up the hash tag #FreeMusaAzare to demand for the blogger’s release.

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Nigeria’s Power, Finance And Energy Investors To Meet With Govt In Abuja This October

Leading development finance institutions and heads of Nigeria’s most accomplished energy companies will meet with national government at EnergyNet’s Powering Africa: Nigeria Investment Summit, taking place in Abuja from 12-14 October 2016.

Over 50 public and private sector decision makers will address 300 power developers and investors to discuss the driving factors behind power development in Nigeria. The investment summit will underpin Nigeria as a hub for regional gas development as well as an important market for clean and renewable energy. Key themes of the conference include how to diversify Nigeria’s energy mix, regulation policy to promote international investment in renewables, and examining Nigeria’s off grid energy market- promoting energy access for everyone.

This meeting follows EnergyNet’s recently concluded 18th Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in London this June, which welcomed 2,200 vetted investors from the Americas, Europe and Asia, and government representatives from 30 African countries. Major deals were signed at the meeting including a merger between Harith General Partners and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), KFW’s US$150 million 15 year loan facility to AFC, Access Power’s US$7 million award to three renewable developers, Mainstream’s US$117.5 million Africa Clean Energy Equity Funding and DFID’s two Compacts in Kenya and Sierra Leone, to name a few.

“For 24 years EnergyNet has supported governments across the continent playing an advisory role helping policy makers meet the very best private sector investors. Our role is not unique; however our approach is as individual as a thumbprint, highlighted by the trust the World Bank, Power Africa, IFC, FMO, Proparco, DFID, AfDB and many more who place their trust in EnergyNet, which supports our position as a market-shaper when it comes to global energy development,” says Simon Gosling, Managing Director of EnergyNet.

The meeting is officially endorsed by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria. It has the official support of the UK’s DFID-funded Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility, of Germany’s GIZ and of the European Union.

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Nigerian Turkish Nizamiye Hospital Performs First Open Heart Surgery In Abuja

The Nizamiye Hospital has successfully carried out an open heart surgery in Abuja. This was contained in a statement released by the management of the hospital.

According to the statement, “the Nizamiye Hospital successfully performed an outer coronary bypass surgery on its first patient in Abuja”

The statement further added: “Dr Mustafa Kirman the lead surgeon led a team of seven specialists that included Turkish and Nigerian professionals to carry out the procedure.”

“The procedure lasted three hours and we thank God that it was a huge success and the patient responded well and has been discharged from the hospital after a seven day observation period” it further added.

In his reaction on the success of the surgery, the Deputy Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Atilla Emiroglu stated that “the hospital is excited about this feat, especially with the fact that the team of medical personnel that carried out the procedure are resident doctors and specialists”

“The team of doctors are resident in Nigeria and are staff of the hospital. We opted for this option to ensure that our patients get the best care and are assured that doctors are always available at short notice.” He further added that “with what we have in ground at the hospital in terms of personnel and equipment, there is absolutely no need for Nigerians to travel abroad for open heart surgery”

The statement also stated that the hospital has four other patients on its waiting list for open heart surgery. It would be recalled that The Nigerian Turkish Nizamiye Hospital was established by Turkish investors under the First Surat Group of companies. The hospital is estimated to have cost $20 million and was commissioned on February 20, 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan in an event that brought together former ministers of health and other very important policy makers in the country.

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As The Nyakos And Fintiri Appear Before Abuja Federal High Courts By Babayola Toungo

The former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and his son, Abdul-aziz, are currently facing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja for different cases of alleged corruption.

The Nyakos and others are standing trial in a 37-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N29 billion preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as they are alleged to have at various times between 2011 and 2013, used five companies – Blue Opal Nigeria limited, Sebore Farms & Extension Limited, Pagoda Fortunes Limited, Towers Assets Management Limited and Crust Energy Limited to commit the alleged fraud.

As their trial continued, former acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri was also arraigned before an Abuja High Court on similar but different charges.

Mr. Fintiri was last month arraigned by the EFCC on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering.

He was said to have defrauded the Adamawa government to the tune of N970 million and 4.8 million dollars when he was the governor of the state for three months.

As is to be expected, each of the cases has been unique in hearing and other processes that will lead to the determination of the case.

In the case involving Abdulaziz Nyako, the court last month, ordered the EFCC to pay the sum of N12.5 million being exemplary damages in favour of the senator for unlawful freezing of his account and illegal detention.

This is because the judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, held while delivering judgment in the fundamental rights enforcement suit, that Senator Nyako, was detained in the custody of the commission in excess of the period prescribed by law.

The court in the same judgment also held that declaring the younger Nyako ‘wanted’ without evidence of crime is tantamount to a breach of his fundamental human rights by the EFCC.

Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja in a similar vein blamed the EFCC for delaying judgment on former governor Nyako’s case.

This was after the counsel to Nyako, Yakubu Maikyau said they needed to study a document tendered by the EFCC counsel because it was voluminous before going on with the cross-examination which justice Chukwu sustained explaining that the document should have been served to Nyako’s counsel, Maikyau long before now, adding that the fresh document amounts to delay of judgment.

But before the conclusion of the case, Justice Chukwu who was handling the trial of the former Adamawa State governor and his two children as well as other major cases like the trial of former officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Sani Lulu, Taiwo Ogunjobi and others died.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, then re-assigned the case to Justice Okon Abang following the death of Chukwu in June.

The case was initially scheduled to commence afresh by way of re-arraignment on July 7. However, the court could not sit due to the extension of the Eid-el-Fitri holiday announced by the Federal Government on July 5, further delaying the case as the EFCC will now have to re-arraign the former governor and his son before Justice Okon Abang on September 12, 2016.

Even as the matter has dragged due to no fault of the accused persons, it is pertinent to point out that the delay in dispensing with the case, which the late judge complained about is set to further aggravate with the processes, as the new judge handling the case needs time to appraise himself with the facts of the matter.

But of serious concern is another coincidence, having to do with the fact that the wife of the former governor, who is a step mother to the other accused person, who are both being arraigned, is also a judge in a federal High Court in Abuja.

Previous cases that are similar in nature have raised concerns in the past and it will not be out of place to ask certain questions if only to ensure a fulfillment of a vital requirement in the dispensation of justice, which is seeing that justice is not only done but seemed to be done.

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, not long ago raised an issue out of a similar coincidence when the wife of a former governor of the state, Justice Mary Odili, who is believed to be close to Governor Nyesom Wike, a party in a matter that went to the Supreme Court, was serving as a judge when the apex court delivered its judgment.

Peterside said “credible information” confirmed that Wike had met with the Supreme Court justices that sat on the matter at different places before the judgment was delivered stressing that Wike himself confirmed during his thanksgiving service that former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili, and his wife, Mary (a justice of the Supreme Court), were his advisers.

He said, “Despite my acceptance and temperate public comments on the verdict of the Supreme Court on January 27, 2016, Wike, by his unguarded utterance last Sunday, seems to give credence to the pervading doubt being expressed on the judgment in public space especially in the media”.

“For the record, in his speech at the church service, Wike probably forgot that he was on live telecast when he stated: ‘Let me thank our former governor, Dr. Peter Odili (husband of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili). He will call me midnight to tell me what to do….he will say go so so place.” I took all his advice, and here we are today.”

Though Wike reacted by saying Peterside was crying wolf and trying to incite President Muhammadu Buhari and the military against the governor and the people of the state, the point made by Peterside cannot be waved aside.

Parties usually feel uncomfortable if they notice any development that would erode their confidence in the impartiality of the courts and the court, when such issues are raised usually obliges in order to give a sense of justice to all.

It is to avoid such accusations and doubts in the judicial system that it becomes imperative to point out that having both Nyako and his son, tried before an Abuja Federal High Court when a member of their family is a judge within the same precinct should call for concern.

Not only that, but there is also the need to draw attention to the case of the former acting governor, Fintiri, coming in an Abuja Federal High Court for the same reason.

Fintiri it was who played a major role as speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly that led to the impeachment of Nyako in 2014.

If the coincidence in the case of Nyako and his son can be ignored on the basis that the facts of the case would speak for itself, that of Fintiri should bother any unbiased mind due to the no love lost relationship between him and members of the Nyako family.

It would therefore not be out of place to allay the fears of those who for good reasons harbor such concerns in order to deepen the faith of the citizenry in the judiciary.
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Investigation: How Thugs Extort Businesses in Abuja in The Name of Govt

Abdullahi Adamu Candido is the Chairman of AMAC

If you are a resident of Abuja or a regular visitor, you’d have noticed this often fierce looking young men wearing bibs stand on select road points in Abuja disturbing motorists. They are often dressed in their mufti with a bib over that or dressed in green for those who chase after Abuja taxi drivers. The most notorious of this lot are the ones that go to offices looking to extort and obtain money from the business owners. This is often done in the most crass of ways.

Speaking for a tax consultant in Abuja, they came to his office saying he’d pay N150,000 for his premises allowance, right there and then, he negotiated that same amount to N50,000. He is yet to pay this sum but that is not the issue. The issue is, if this was a fee set out by law based on certain parameters, how was it possible for someone posing as a collection agent to just negotiated it with the business owner, just like that? On whose authority?

Another friend with an office in one of the plazas in the Jabi area of Abuja narrated how five hefty looking men, dressed in no uniform knocked on the door of his office. What ensued could easily have passed for a regular armed robbery case except for the fact that these ones had no guns, they came claiming to be collection agents from the now notorious AMAC. Five of them, then one of them told the representative of the business that their money was N150,000. According to him, “because you have a large office.”

This person was yet to enter the office, he determined the size of the office by merely imagining a sum, then spewing same out. He was then asked how he determined the cost, only for him to say “that is how we do it!” In the argument, after a round of arguments, the same man who started out from N150,00 right there and then raised it to N300,000 and issued a document to that effect. He went further to say, “I can see you are a media firm, so you definitely have money!” If this is not EXTORTION, we might as well change the meaning of the word in the English dictionary. Again, this was done based on the discretion of the collection agent who signed off as Bulus Aba. Mr. Bulus Aba also made it clear the stipulated amount was different from other AMAC charges, which he promised would come later.

There are several more cases of AMAC and/or those claiming to be AMAC victimizing shop and business owners in Abuja. The earlier the authorities look into this, the better for the ease of doing business in Nigeria’s capital city. As it is, Nigeria is currently one of the toughest places to do business in the world and if the AMAC extortions from business owners in Abuja are anything to go by, it is a well-earned unfortunate position.

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EFCC Uncovers Fayose’s Properties In Abuja, Lagos As Governor’s Son Absconds To Brussels

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have uncovered some properties bought by Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose since he assumed the number one seat in the state.

This is even as the son to the governor has reportedly absconded to bruseels following the discovery of Ekiti State fund in his account.

Abusidiqu has reported earlier that the EFCC has launched a hunt for Fayose’s properties many of whom were purchased in Abuja, Lagos and Dubai using fronts.

READ: EFCC Launches Hunt For Properties Fayose Allegedly Bought In Dubai, Lagos And Abuja

New York based news medium, SaharaReporters posted via its twitter handle on Sunday that EFCC sources said they’ve found two properties worth ?1.1b bought by Governor Fayose in Victoria Island.

Some of the governors properties were also discovered to have been bought in Abuja, the Online platform quoted the EFCC sources as saying.

These properties were all acquired after Fayose became governor of Ekiti State in 2014.

“FLASH: sources said the two properties worth ?1.1b bought by in VI was purchased by a female “Estate Agent”, SaharaReporters tweeted.

Two of the governor’s friends were reportedly interrogated on the properties. They included one Abbey, who was said to have been brought to Abuja from Lagos on Friday and another friend of the governor known as Fatai, who was said to have allegedly aided the governor in securing his deposits in the bank.

The bank deposits an EFCC source said were used to purchase choice properties in Abuja, Lagos and Dubai through other banks in Ekiti which the EFCC is now working on.

Both Abbey and Fatai are said said to be in the know of the properties.

Meanwhile, Rogba Fayose, son to the Ekiti State governor, is reported to have absconded to Brussels after offficlas of the EFCC traced ?200million state funds to his personal account.

There are no further details, but wife of the governor, Feyisetan Fayose has also been linked to receiving money from the Arms deal fund.

She was said to have received N100m through an account which is operated by her and her husband.

According to the EFCC, the money, which emanated from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser, was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Spotless Investment Limited on June 17, 2014, less than a week to the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State.

READ: EFCC To Invite Fayose’s Wife For Receiving N100m Arms Cash


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EFCC Launches Hunt For Properties Fayose Allegedly Bought In Dubai, Lagos And Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCCC) s saod to have launched a search for Fayose’s houses which he allegedly acquired after he became governor on October 16, 2014.

Already, it was gathered that the investigators had identified six of the properties  with purchasing papers that were skilfully prepared to deceive security agencies.

It was gathered that the purchasing papers were yet to be changed, but that those who sold the properties had confided in the EFCC who the real owner of the houses was.

The investigators are working on the theory that the governor might have used his detained bosom friend, Abiodun Agbele, as a front among others.

A source in the EFCC said, “We are closing in on the governor. Immunity does not stop us from investigating any sitting governor or president. And we have no apology to offer for doing our duty.”

Two of the governor’s friends were reportedly interrogated on the properties. They included one Abbey, who was said to have been brought to Abuja from Lagos on Friday.

He was said to have been confronted with the evidence on the various lodgements he allegedly made to banks in the name of the governor.

Another friend of the governor known as Fatai, was said to have allegedly aided the governor in securing his deposits in the bank. He was also said to be “in the know of how the properties were bought.”

It was gathered that the houses would be temporarily seized until the proxies whose names appear on the papers of some of the houses were “able to convince investigators whether the source of the funds used in purchasing the houses were clean.”

The commission was said to have relied on reports given to it by former and current associates of the governor.

Chief among the whistleblowers, it was gathered is a former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Dr. Tope Aluko.

Aluko said that it was true he was invited by the anti-graft agency, adding that the allegations he made against the governor concerning the funding of his campaign were true.

In a prepared statement, Aluko said, “Ayo Fayose was sworn in on October 16, 2015.  By January 30, 2015, he made a cash deposit of N145m into De-Private account.

“On on April 18, 2015, he paid cash of N70m to the same account. The N300m deposit paid into account no 9013074033 in April in cash by Abey in Fayose’s name can’t be from the Zenith Bank, but from the Office of the National Security Adviser/Dasuki for presidential damaging and presidential election.

“These funds were used to purchase choice properties in Abuja, Lagos and Dubai through other banks in Ekiti which the EFCC is now working on.

“Ayo Fayose is not ignorant of Money Laundering Act, although he’s relying on his immunity. He should know that any cash payment above N9m for corporate and N5m for individuals is an offence and should be reported to the EFCC.

“The ones discovered or uncovered by the EFCC are different from that of the N2.1bn, $2m and $35m from this same source.”

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Nigerian Prisons Confirms Abuja Jail Break, Says Charlse Okah Still In Custody

The Nigeria Prisons Service has confirmed that there was a jailbreak in the Kuje maximum Prison on Friday night but said it was yet to find out if any inmate escaped.

The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Francis Enobore told Punch correspondent on the telephone that  there was an “incident” at the prison on Friday night but added that it had nothing to do with the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, Charles Okah, who he said is “safe and sound.”

“Yes there was an incident yesterday, but Okah was not involved,” he said.

“It is not true, Charles Okah is still in custody. I have been in touch with our men in the prison facility and there is nothing like that [Okah escaping],” Enobore said.

“The Comptoller of prisons has ordered an investigation and that is going on. We want to know if anybody escaped and if yes, what are their identities,” he added.

Enobore the Service will release a statement once the preliminary investigation is concluded.

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AMCON Takes Over Silverbird Properties In Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over the properties of Ben Murray Bruce, top businessman and lawmaker representing Bayelsa east senatorial district.

Citing an order from a federal high court in Lagos, the agency sealed three companies operated by the famous Bruce family.

The companies are: Silverbird Galleria Limited located at 133 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos; Silverbird Promotions Limited, Plot No 1161, Central Area Cadastral Zone AOO, Abuja; and Silverbird Showtime Limited Abonnema Wharf Road and Abali Park in Port Harcourt City of Rivers State.

The companies are said to be indebted to the tune of 11billion taken from Union Bank.

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Presidency Hosts Pre-selection, Pitch Events For The Aso Villa Demo Day In Lagos, Abuja And Port Harcourt

In pursuit of the Buhari Presidency focus on technology as a major driver of economic growth, the Federal Government will be hosting One-Day Pitch Sessions in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt with the objective of identifying and selecting some of the best technology innovations that will help Nigeria move forward.

The Pitch events would  also review the strategic options available to Start-ups and how their technology ideas and innovations can be used as solutions in the Nigerian public and private sectors.

The first in the Pitch-series will hold in Lagos as follows:

Date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
Time:   9am Prompt
Venue:  The Landmark Event Center, Water Corporation Road, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Pitch stage of the Aso Villa Demo Day is intended to also engage with representatives from the industry to deliberate on how to diversify the economy by investing in ideas, technology innovations and indigenous solutions. Some discussions will equally focus on specific actions and steps required by Government towards achieving the strategic objectives of the Aso Villa Demo Day.

Industry chieftains, bureaucrats, local and international experts as well as investors are also expected to attend this all important session.

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EFCC Seizes Diezani’s $18m Abuja Home With Furnitures, Bullet Proof Gym Worth $2m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized a mansion worth N3.58bn ($18m at the official exchange rate of N199 to a dollar) in the Asokoro area of Abuja allegedly belonging to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said this during an interview with Al-Jazeera, a Qatar-based news network.

Magu, in the interview on Monday, noted that the items in the house included jewellery, furniture and a bulletproof gym worth about $2m.

He stated that the house was part of the $10bn in cash and assets that had been seized by the Federal Government in the last one year.

“We have been able to take on a lot of big shots that were hitherto untouchable in the three arms of the military, political class. We have recorded 164 convictions in just one year,” he said.

He denied claims that the fight against corruption was politically-motivated.

“No, not my EFCC; not the EFCC of today. We are not politicised. If there is an allegation against anybody, we will go after them,” he said.

The commission had revealed in April that it seized wristwatches worth £2m from the wife of the Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, Mr. Jide Omokore, and Diezani.

The anti-graft agency seized a wristwatch worth £1.4m from Omokore’s wife, while a wristwatch worth £600,000 was seized from Diezani.

The wristwatches were said to have been seized during various raids on houses of some suspects on Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, and other places.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Monday, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the commission had the right to seize properties believed to have been acquired with stolen funds.

He said, “In recent times, a lot of interest has been generated by the action of the commission in freezing the accounts of suspects that were investigated or are currently being investigated. Some commentators have tended to ascribe vindictive motives to this action.

“In order to prevent misinformation, it is imperative to explain the reason behind the commission’s actions in this regard. Freezing of accounts suspected of being used for commission of financial crimes is a mandatory investigative step backed by law.

“Indeed, Section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act 2004 empowers the commission to freeze any account suspected of being used for financial crimes.

“The section stipulates that ‘the chairman of the commission or any officer authorised by him may, if satisfied that the money in the account of a person is made through the commission of an offence under this Act or any enactment specified under Section 6(2) (a)-(f) of this Act, apply to the court exparte for power to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other appropriate authority to freeze the account.”

He argued that the aim of these provisions was to ensure that the commission safeguarded suspected proceeds of crime pending the completion of its investigation.

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