Court orders EFCC to return Saraki’s houses

Bukola Saraki

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday gave an order for the return of two houses in Ilorin belonging to former Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa gave the order while ruling on an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking to permanently forfeit Saraki’s houses to the Federal Government.

The EFCC had in December last year secured a court order for the interim forfeiture of the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.

The anti-graft agency told 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.

An EFCC operative Olamide Sadiq had told the court “that whilst he (Saraki) held the aforementioned position (as governor), the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”

Saraki however through his lawyer Kehinde Ogunwumiju described the EFCC suit as an abuse of court process and an attempt to scandalise him.

The judge said he found no sufficient basis in the EFCC application and could not “find my way through” to grant the permanent forfeiture order.