The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has hailed the order of a Federal High Court in Lagos for the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N2.3 billion recovered from Adesola Amosu, a former Chief of Air Staff.
Debo Adeniran, CACOL Executive Chairman, on behalf of the centre, noted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, after conducting a thorough investigation, approached a competent court to seek for forfeiture of not only the N2.2 billion purportedly belonging to Amosu, but also N101 million belonging to Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to him.
Also affected by the order is another N190, 828,978.15 recovered from Olugbenga Gbadebo, a former Nigeria Air Force Director of Finance and Budget.”
Adeniran also expressed outrage that “Amosu and one Adigun had, between July 17 and September 16, 2014, diverted over N663 million to purchase properties at 50 – 52, Tenderdem Groove (NW 41st) and 93B, Shirdball Park, London (NW42QU).
“The duo also diverted another N1.4 billion to acquire 40A Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi and Sinari Daranijo Street in Victoria Island. They also bought properties worth over N2.4 billion in Abuja and Lagos.
“One of them was named as Cappadol Mall located along Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Wuse II, Abuja, while the other one was located at Agobogba Street, Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos.
“Other properties they acquired include one along Saltlake Street, Maitama, Abuja; 61A Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja and 1, River Street, Wuse, Abuja.“
The two alleged partners-in-crime also used the huge sum of N428, 139,000 being proceeds of crime, to renovate and purchase medical equipment for Solomon Healthcare Ltd, situated at 24, Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja, Lagos.”
Adeniran added: “CACOL wishes to clarify that the law and relevant authorities that set up EFCC have made it clear that in certain corruption cases involving public officers the onus of proof lies on the accused rather than the other way round, especially where it involves monumental looting of this dimension, which is clearly a threat to national security as the funds meant for ensuring the security of the people and their properties are obviously under threat by unbridled looting.
“We, therefore, agree with Justice Olatoregun’s interim order, directing the EFCC to publish the court verdict in the Nation and Punch Newspapers, within a specified time, so that the respondents or anyone interested the case can show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the Federal Government at the next adjourned date.
“This court pronouncement is not only a patriotic one; it is progressive, lawful and very much in tandem with our own position on how to tame and shame corruption by public officers.”