The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday gave permission to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to temporarily seize 40 properties traced to Ike Ekweremadu.
The order came as Mr Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President, is being held in the United Kingdom for allegedly trying to harvest David Nwamini’s kidney for their ailing daughter.
The judge, Inyang Ekwo, handed down the interim forfeiture order for his properties after hearing an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC.
An EFCC lawyer, Ibrahim Buba, moved the application for the confiscation of the assets, saying they were suspicious proceeds of crime.
The lawyer told the judge that the landed properties comprise 15 in Abuja, 10 in Enugu (Mr Ekweremadu’s home state), one in Lagos, two in the United Kingdom, three in the United States, and nine in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The EFCC claimed the assets were allegedly acquired with proceeds of fraud.
Ruling, Mr Ekwo granted the application and ordered the EFCC to, within seven days from the date of the order, publish the interim forfeiture order of the assets in a national daily.
This is to enable whoever has intérêt in the assets to approach the court give to convince the court not to issue an order of permanent forfeiture to the federal government.
READ ALSO: UK court denies Ekweremadu, wife bail
The London Metropolitan Police arrested Mr Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, on an allegation that Mr Nwanini, whom the couple took to London for organ harvesting, was a minor.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the prosecutors said the Ekweremadus were charged with bringing a 15-year-old boy from Nigeria to the UK with the claim that he was to be given a better life in the UK but was actually to harvest his organ for their ailing daughter.
But the couple, who have been denied bail and face charges of organ trafficking in London, had insisted that Mr Nwanini was 21 years old.
While Mr Ekweremadu remains in custody, it was reported that a London Court has adjourned his case until May 2023.
Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?
— Premium Times (@PremiumTimesng) October 5, 2022
Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999