Akingbola Vs EFCC: Court Fixes Feb. 12 For Hearing

A Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed Feb. 12 for hearing in a suit filed by former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, (now Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola, against the EFCC.

The date was fixed after the case, which is on the seizure of Akingbola’s property, could not be heard on Friday because the new judge it was assigned to, Justice

Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, was indisposed. Joined as respondents in the suit are the EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, and one Mr E.L Etudo.

Akingbola had filed the suit on March 29, 2012, challenging the respondents for denying him access to his property known as “Amazing Grace Plaza’’.

He faulted the action of the EFCC in appointing Etudo as an agent to manage his property and collect rents or charges on it.

The applicant contended that his property, which was affected by an interim order of court in December 2009, had not been forfeited to the Federal Government and so the respondent had no right to deal with the property.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that when the case came up last, Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, had ruled that EFCC had no right to deal with the seized property.

She had said that the respondent ought to have approached the court to appoint a receiver to manage the said property of the applicant, pending the conclusion of Akingbola’s criminal trial.

The judge had said that the law on forfeited properties was that it should be placed under seal and if for any reason it was not expedient to do so, the commission should go back to the court for direction.

She said that even though the properties had been forfeited to the Federal Government in the interim, the commission lacked the mandate to unilaterally appoint someone to manage the properties.

Meanwhile, the court had also restrained Akingbola from dealing with the properties in any manner whatsoever, in line with the interim order of court, given in 2009. (NAN)

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