A Kwara State High Court has ordered the forfeiture of a N150 million plaza traced to a civil servant in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, spokesperson, Tony Orilade, on Thursday.
The anti-graft agency said the property, Asmau Plaza, located along University of Ilorin Road, Tanke in the state capital, Ilorin, was traced to the Controller, Finance and Account, Kwara State Government House, Rasaq Momonu.
According to the commission, the order was given by Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, following an application brought before the court by the EFCC seeking for the forfeiture of the property.
The EFCC said the property is believed to have been acquired with proceeds of crime.
The commission said Mr Momonu is facing money laundering charges before Justice Babangana Ashigar of the Federal High Court, sitting in Ilorin, and is expected back in court on September 25.
In the affidavit deposed to by the investigating officer with the EFCC, Musa Gidado, he urged the court to order the final forfeiture of the plaza.
”He cannot afford to build the house known as Asmau Plaza between 2010 -2012.” said the EFCC investigator. He said investigations revealed that Mr Momonu who is a civil servant who earns less than N100,000 in a month.
“Investigations revealed that the owner of the property, Mr Momonu, used his influence as an accountant with Kwara state government to inflate and award contracts for the construction of two classrooms at Ogbondoroko and Obanisuwa communities, Asa local government area of the state,” Mr Gidado said.
“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,” he added.
Nnaemeka Omewa, counsel for the EFCC, filling the application for the forfeiture on July 19, urged 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.
“I urge the court to grant the motion,” he said.
Granting the ruling, Justice Oyinloye ordered Mr Momononu property forfeiture.
“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. He said.
“The application brought by the EFCC is meritorious and granted; this Honourable Court hereby orders the final forfeiture of the landed property known as Asmau Plaza, Tanke Road, Ilorin, Kwara State to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
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