Anti-graft officials ask Abuja high court to grant them permission to seize Ekweremadu's 22 houses

ANTI-graft officials have asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to temporarily seize some properties including two houses in the UK belonging to the deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu.


Last month, Sahara Reporters revealed that Senator Ekweremadu owned two choice properties in the UK with a combined value of £3.73m.  According to Sahara Reporters, UK land registry documents list the addresses of the properties as 52 Aylestone Avenue, London, NW6 7AB and Flat 4, Varsity Court, 44, Homer Street, London, W1H 4NW.


UK land registry documents reveal that the first property, with title number MX361292, is on a freehold, implying outright ownership of the property and the land on which it stands. Yesterday, the EFCC asked the court to allow it seize both properties and 20 others because the senator failed to declare the assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.


Nine of the targeted properties are said to be in Abuja and apart from the two in London, eight are in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and three are in Florida, in the US. The Okoi Obono-Obla Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property said in an ex parte application filed on behalf of the federal government before the court that Senator Ekweremadu failed to declare of the said properties in his assets declaration forms dated June 1, 2007 and June 1, 2015.


In the case, the presidential panel through a private lawyer, Festus Keyamo, engaged to institute the legal action, prayed the court in its application to make an order of interim forfeiture pending the conclusion of the investigation of the deputy senate president. Mr Keyamo stated in the application that Senator Ekweremadu was being investigated by the Obono-Obla committee for alleged breach of a breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers.


The application accompanied by an affidavit of urgency, seeking an urgent hearing of the motion, was anchored on four grounds. The grounds of the ex parte application are that the properties listed in Schedule A hereunder were the properties declared by the respondent in his assets declaration form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.


Senator Ekweremadu, however, insisted that he had declared all his assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by law. His spokesman Uche Anichukwu, said that the senator has nevertheless, briefed his lawyers and will meet the panel in court.


Mr Anichukwu added: “The so-called panel sought and obtained his assets declaration forms but could not look at them since it is clearly out on a vendetta and smear campaign. This is clearly part of the politics of 2019."