On Wednesday, a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, issued an order declaring ultimate forfeiture to the federal government of no less than 22 landed properties spread throughout different areas of Lagos State.
In two distinct decisions on requests for justification made by two interested parties, Judge Inyang Ekwo concluded that the Federal Government’s position had validity.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Judge Ekwo approved the interim forfeiture application for the assets on November 16, 2021.
Nevertheless, the motions to show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government were submitted by the Oba Patrick Ibikunle Fanfunwa, the Onikoyi of Lagos, and Moyosore Onigbanjo, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos.
In their preliminary objections, the Lagos government and the traditional leader sought the court to dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
Judge Ekwo stated in his decisions on the applications that the Federal Government’s position had validity.
Even though it wasn’t supported by any evidence, he claimed that the respondents’ affidavits to show cause presented their argument in total bad faith.
According to him, the respondents’ case was unsuccessful because there was insufficient solid proof to support the claims they had made in their affidavits to show cause.
The judge said that he could not see in the affidavits of the respondents that challenged claim of the applicant (Federal Government).
“The law insists that where facts deposed to in an affidavit have not been controverted, such facts must be taken as true,” he said.
Hence, Judge Ekwo ruled that the Federal Government should finally surrender all of the property stated on the face of the application on notice.
Also, he issued an order giving the applicant permission to, as the case may be, auction, utilize, convert for public use, engage into any agreements with private organizations, collaborate with them, or use the property in any other way it may judge appropriate for the benefit of the general public.
The judge also ordered that all proceeds realized from the aforementioned sale or disposal of the property be properly transferred to designated accounts of the Federal Government and “a certified surveyor or any other person or agency/body as may be deemed fit to, inter alia, determine or ascertain the value of the properties.”
The landed property include an approximately 4.222 square meter in Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1 Beside the Substation; approximately 1.700 sq. Meters with Twin Duplex Uncompleted in Victoria Gardens City (VGC) Estate; No. 2a /2b Kuramo Close Ikoyi, Lagos State.
It also include a Ware House at Wharf Road Apapa; property along Muritala Mohammed Airport beside MM2 Building, Domestic Wing of Airport Transit/Protocol Office, Ikeja; empty fenced land at No.13b McDonald Road Ikoyi; No. 20 Gerrard |koyi, Lagos State;
Also forfeited are Plot 001 Awolowo Road. Ikoyi, Lagos State; No.3 Macpherson Ikoyi, Lagos State; Two Bedrooms Flat F at Block 25, Ladoke Akintola Street; One Duplex Property at No. 11, Alexander Avenue, Ikoyi; Plot 24/25 Sango House, Marina, Lagos; No. 32, Queens Drive Ikoyi, Lagos State and detached Storey House of four-Bedroom with three rooms BQ at Block 11, ljora Staff Quarters, Ijora G.R.A, among others.