By Ngozi Ekhator
Former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said the Federal High Court in Lagos must have been misled to granting an interim forfeiture order on his Ikoyi.
Saraki, while reacting to news of the interim order, said his attention had been drawn to “an order said to have been granted by a Federal High Court in Lagos for a temporary forfeiture of his property on 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, following an ex-parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that the Federal High Court in Lagos must have been misled into granting that order as neither him nor his lawyers were aware of any application by the EFCC for any forfeiture order.
He said there is a subsisting court order issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja, in which the same property was a subject matter and where the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Justice were parties. The court in that case gave an order restraining the EFCC from taking any further action until the matter is determined.
“We are sure the FHC judge in Lagos was not aware of all these facts and has therefore been misled into giving the temporary forfeiture order. The affected property, House Number 17 A and 17B, was specifically listed in the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in which the EFCC was part of the prosecution and the case went up to the Supreme Court where the apex court in its July 6, 2018 judgement ruled in his favour.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that the source of funds for the purchase of the property was not illicit as claimed by the prosecution. On pages 12, 13 and 26 of the judgement of the highest court, this particular property on 17A McDonald Street, Ikoyi, was specifically referred to and the court upheld the no case submission of Dr. Saraki and therefore ruled in his favour.
“We know that any action which tends to mislead the court amounts to misrepresentation and it is a good ground for us to get the Court to throw away the order it issued today. We are sure the order will be reversed.
“We therefore call on all the friends, associates and supporters of Dr. Saraki to remain calm because we know this action will not stand when the court gets to hear the side of the former Senate President”, Saraki stated.