The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC, has urged Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, to dismiss an application by Governor Yahaya Bello.
The Kogi helmsman is seeking to vacate the forfeiture order with respect to 14 properties and the sum of N400 million.
The court had, on February 22, 2023, granted an order against the properties linked to the Kogi government. The EFCC insists they were derived from unlawful activities.
The properties include Sky View Building No. 1, Property No. 401, Floor 4, in Dubai, U.A.E.; Hotel Apartment Community, Burj Khalifa, Plot 160 Municipality.
EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, informed the court that the preservation order had been published in a newspaper.
However, Bello’s counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed, SAN, said most of the properties sought to be forfeited were acquired before his client entered office.
The senior lawyer also said the EFCC lacked the power to prosecute Bello because he enjoys immunity under the constitution.
Responding, Oyedepo said a governor can be investigated by the state for evidence that will be used in prosecution when he no longer enjoys immunity.
After listening to arguments, Justice Oweibo adjourned the matter until April 20, 2023, for a ruling.