The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given reasons why the six houses seized from Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose may never be returned to him.
The EFCC said the houses – both in Lagos and Abuja – were seized via a court order issued on July 20 this year while it was investigating the governor in relation to various offences including diversion of public funds.
It said it has, in the cause of investigating Fayose, found that the houses were acquired through third parties, who it has identified and has “proceeded against.”
The commission said the question of whether or not to vacate the July 20 order for the seizure of the house no longer arises as the new owners of the houses have been identified and a new order has been issued against them.
The EFCC said this in its counter affidavit to a motion by Fayose asking a Federal High Court in Abuja to vacate the July 20 order for temporary forfeiture of his houses.
The house include: four units of 4 bedroom at Charlets 3, 4, 6 and 9 Plot 100 Tiamiyi Salvage Victoria Island, Lagos.
Others are: No: 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja and Plot 1504 Yedseram Street, Maitama, Abuja.
The EFCC said, in its counter affidavit, that its investigation has revealed that houses were acquired through companies known as J.J. Technical Service, Spotless Investment Limited and one Mrs. Moji Ladeji.
It said at the expiration of the July 20 order given by Justice Nmandi Dimgba (of the Federal High Court, Abuja) for 45, it went before another judge of the court – Justice Okon Abang – for a new order of interim forfeiture granted on November 3 this year.
The EFCC argued that in view of the new interim order of forfeiture, which is to last until the case against the new owners of the properties is concluded, Fayose’s motion now before Justice Dimgba has become an academic exercise.
“An order was made by this court on the 20th of July 2016 for interim attachment/forfeiture of the properties contained in this application for a period of 45 days.
“The order has since lapsed and the respondent, upon further investigation, discovered the names through which the properties were acquired and had to proceed against those names.
“The respondent (EFCC) re-attached the properties and reapplied to this honourable court for fresh order before Honourable Justice Okon Abang, which application was considered and granted.
“An order of interim or forfeiture is meant to preserve the res (subject matter) pending investigation or conclusion of trial.
“It is thus of interest to state that in view of the respondent’s exhibit EFCC1 (a copy of the order by Justice Abang), the order now being sought by the applicant has already been overtaking by time and event.
“The applicant’s (Fayose’s) application is thus, a pure waste of time and an academic exercise, which is based on nothing,” the EFCC said.
The absence of Fayose’s lead lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), prevented the hearing of the Governor’s application Monday.
Following the agreement of lawyers to both sides to return another day for the hearing, Justice Dimgba adjourned to December 19.