Justice Muhammed Liman of the Federal Excessive Court, Lagos on Thursday, brushed apart its narrate of intervening time forfeiture made against the property of the fast past Senate President, Olubukola Saraki.
The court docket had on October 21, 2019, while granting an ex parte application introduced earlier than it by the Economic and Monetary Crimes Commission, and argued by its counsel, Nnemeka Omewa, ordered the intervening time forfeiture of the two properties located on 17 and 17a, McDonald Avenue, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa Local Government Place of Lagos Say, which were mentioned to were obtained with proceeds of unlawful screech.
The court docket commenced hearing on the bound for remaining forfeiture of the mentioned properties on February 6, 2020
Nevertheless on Thursday, the court docket held that the essence of an intervening time narrate of forfeiture is to preserve the property from being dissipated by the suspect, that the burden is on the applicant, (EFCC), to meet the court docket that the property became obtained with proceeds of an unlawful or illegal screech below the corruption regulations.
The court docket, alternatively, came upon that the applicant, in its affidavit in enhance of its bound for remaining forfeiture, acknowledged that the properties sought to be forfeited were purchased with a deepest loan Saraki obtained from Guarantee Have faith Bank.
In agreement with a submission by the respondent’s counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, the court docket acknowledged that the burden of proof for remaining forfeiture is on the preponderance of evidence and that the applicant had failed to existing that the money frail to settle on the property became from the Kwara Say Government Home legend.
The court docket became now not happy that the respondent had paid off the loan frail to settle on the property.
In conserving with the ruling, the evidence of the transactions offered by the applicant became in recognize of transactions made after Saraki had purchased the property and the proceeds frail for the acquisition were correct.
In the relaxation diagnosis, the court docket held that the applicant failed to trace its entitlement to the help of remaining forfeiture of the respondent’s properties, hence brushed apart the applying and vacated the intervening time forfeiture narrate.