Friday, 20 December 2019

FG To Seize Shehu Yar'Adua Foundation Property In Abuja

A final forfeiture order has been secured by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for 25 properties belonging to the Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation and 24 other registered entities over alleged tax default in Abuja.

A Federal Capital Territory High (FCT) sitting in Maitama, Abuja and presided over by Justice Baba H. Yusuf yesterday ruled on an ex-parte application filed by the anti-graft agency granting it the final forfeiture order.

The order obtained by the commission against the properties was over their owners’ alleged failure to pay their taxes as at when due, for which the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had to prepare a schedule of tax obligations against them.

The companies were among the 29 entities that had earlier been approached with a net N8.6 billion tax liability but denied ownership of the properties.

For this reason, a complaint was submitted to the office of the Vice President, which was forwarded to the commission for further action.

Consequently, ICPC filed an ex-parte application in the FCT High Court under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 seeking an interim forfeiture order to take over the properties of tax defaulters, which was eventually granted.

In compliance with the order of the court, the commission published notices in national newspapers calling for persons having interest in all or any of the forfeited properties to appear and “show cause” why they should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Consequently, three companies – Frankdiowo Nigeria Limited, Kati Nigeria Limited, and R.Timmermann & Co Nigeria Limited – appeared in court to explain why their properties should not be finally forfeited by urging the court to discharge them.

However, only Frankdiowo Nigeria Limited showed “good cause” and was discharged while the other two are to return to court for the hearing of their affidavits.

Majority of the forfeited properties are located in Abuja’s highbrow areas, including Wuye, Jahi, Utako, Wuse and Garki II.

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