An Ilorin High Court has ordered the forfeiture to the Federal Government of a shopping mall, Asmau Plaza valued at N150 million and owned by one Mr. Razaq Momonu, the Controller, Finance and Account, Kwara State Government House.
The order by Justice Sikiru Oyinloye is sequel to an application brought before the court by the EFCC, alleging that property emanated from proceeds of financial crime and deserved forfeiture to government.
Moving the motion dated July 19, Counsel to the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa urged the court to grant the prayer for final forfeiture pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences.
Justice Oyinloye had granted the application and resolved all the issues raised in favour of the EFCC, noting that it fulfilled the necessary requirements.
Oyinloye said: “I have gone through the application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. I also sighted the hearing notice issued to the respondent in the suit. This court is persuaded that he had been served with the court processes.
“The application brought by the EFCC is meritorious and granted. This honourable court hereby orders the final forfeiture of the property known as Asmau Plaza, Tanke Road, Ilorin, Kwara State, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that Momonu is facing money laundering charges before Justice Babangana Ashigar of the Federal High Court in Ilorin and is expected in court on September 25.
In an affidavit deposed to by Musa Gidado, an investigating officer with the EFCC, Momonu is accused of diversion of state funds.
Gidado said: “Investigations revealed that Rasaq Momonu used his influence as an accountant with the Kwara State Government to award and inflate contracts for the construction of two classrooms at Ogbondoroko and Obanisuwa Community in Kwara State.
“Investigations also revealed that the respondent, a civil servant who earns less than N100,000 in a month cannot afford to build the house known as Asmau Plaza between 2010-2012.
‘‘That I know as a fact that the respondent was confronted with the above findings by the applicant which he did not dispute and has agreed to forfeit the property to the federal government.”