A Federal High Court in Lagos has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to bring more evidence in support of its suit seeking the permanent forfeiture of two houses in Lagos belonging to a former Senate President and two-term Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki.
EFCC is seeking final forfeiture of the properties belonging to Saraki, claiming the houses, located in the Ikoyi area of Lagos, were acquired with funds allegedly diverted by Saraki from the coffers of Kwara State while he was governor.
The commission also alleged that between 2003 and 2011, Saraki “withdrew over N12bn cash from the account of the Kwara State Government and paid same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith banks through one of his personal assistants, Abdul Adama, at different intervals,” adding that the former denate president obtained a bank loan of N1.6bn to buy the houses and later repaid the loan with money diverted from the state treasury.
But in his ruling, Justice Mohammed Liman said while the EFCC had made “a strong showing of strange transactions” through Saraki’s bank account statement exhibited in court, the anti-graft agency needed to call witnesses to prove that the funds were proceeds of fraud.
Justice Liman had earlier dismissed Saraki’s preliminary objection that the fresh suit was an abuse of court processes on the grounds that it contained the same facts on which he was prosecuted before the Code of Conduct Tribunal and he was discharged and acquitted up to the Supreme Court.
Justice Liman adjourned till September 29 for the EFCC to bring more evidence.