Assets forfeiture: Tafa Balogun, ex-govs’ cars rot in EFCC custody

About 400 posh cars believed to have been seized from a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, ex-governors and some prominent businessmen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission now compete for space with weeds at the commission’s premises in Abuja.

Although it was not clear why the vehicles were dumped there, journalist learnt that the cars were part of the assets which were seized following the Assets Forfeiture order obtained from a court by the EFCC which was to enable professional property managers use the assets to generate revenue for the Federal Government.

An Assets Forfeiture Unit was said to have been put in place in 2008 by the commission’s former chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, whose mandate was to ensure that all assets forfeited to the Federal Government, through the EFCC, were identified and verified.

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The report of the AFU submitted to the commission showed that between 2003 and 2010, the EFCC had seized 203 posh mansions from Politically Exposed Persons, including 15 ex-governors from 46 Forfeiture Court Orders.

The landed property and business concerns which were valued at N2tn included 238 bank accounts worth over N500bn, 320 million units of shares in blue-chip companies, 18 firms and 28 plots of land.

Others are 43 vehicles, three fuel stations, four hotels, two warehouses, four shopping complexes, five schools, two bakeries and three estates.

Balogun’s Lagos and Abuja assets were valued at N1.56bn.

Ex-governors who have seized property include, Lucky Igbinedion (Edo); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti state); Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia state); Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Boni Haruna (Adamawa); Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto); Joshua Dariye (Plateau); Saminu Turaki (Jigawa) and James Ibori (Delta).

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In the corporate world, property of former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank Plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, former Intercontinental Bank Plc Vice-Chairman, Mr. Festus Akingbola; former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche, and Emmanuel Nwude are still with the anti-graft agency.

Investigations by our correspondent during a visit to the EFCC showed that Hummer jeeps and Lincoln Navigators were among the expensive cars.

The spokesperson of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, told newsmen that the property had yet to be sold because they were still being used as exhibits in ongoing trials.

He said, “The cars are still exhibits; most of the accused persons linked with the vehicles and property are still on trial.

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“As such, there is no way the cars would be auctioned. So long as the cases are still in court and the accused persons are still being prosecuted, the commission will not dispose them off; they are exhibits.”

culled from punch news


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