Court Orders Final Forfeiture of N150m Plaza Belonging to Kwara Civil Servant

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, the state Capital, thursday ordered the final forfeiture of a plaza valued N150 million, belonging to a civil servant in the state public service, Mr. Rasaq Momonu, to the Federal Government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), Ilorin zonal office, had approached the court to give an order of final forfeiture of Asmau Plaza situated on the University Road, Tanke Area of Ilorin, after a reasonable suspicion that the said property was acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.

In the affidavit deposed to by Mr. Musa Gidado, an investigating officer with the EFCC, the commission prayed the judge to order the

final forfeiture of the plaza which it suspected to be a proceeds of unlawful activity.

Gidado said: Investigations revealed that Rasaq Momonu used his influence as an Accountant with the Kwara State Government to inflate

and award contracts for the construction of two classrooms at Ogbondoroko and Obanisuwa Community In Kwara State.

“Investigations further revealed that the respondent who is a civil servant that earns less than N100,000 in a month cannot afford to build the house known as Asmau Plaza between 2010 -2012. “That I know as a fact that the respondent was confronted with the above findings by the applicant which he did not dispute and has agreed to forfeit the property known as Asmau Plaza to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

However, moving the application for final forfeiture, counsel to the applicant, Nnaemeka Omewa, prayed the court to grant the order based

on the provisions of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

Omewa said: “My Lord, we have a motion on notice dated 19th July 2019 and filed on the same day. The motion is brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advance Fee fraud and other fraud related Offences, I urge the Court to grant the motion.

Delivering his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Sikiru Oyinloye, held that the EFCC had fulfilled all the requirements in the suit and thereby ordered that the said property should be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

According to him, “I have gone through the application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

I also sighted the hearing notice issued to the respondent in the suit, Rasaq Momonu. This Honourable Court is persuaded that he had been served with the court processes.

“The application brought by the EFCC is meritorious and granted, this Honourable Court hereby ordered the final forfeiture of the landed property known as Asmau Plaza, Tanke Road, Ilorin , Kwara State, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.” Justice Oyinloye, however, granted the application and resolved all the issues raised in favour of the EFCC. The Judge also said that the order for final forfeiture should be published in two national newspapers