Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Seized 86 cars, houses: FG charges civil servant, Buhari panel chief

The Federal Government, through the Chief Okoi Obono-Obla-led Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, has charged a federal civil servant, Mr. Ibrahim Tumsah and his brother, Tijani, before the Federal High Court in Abuja with failure to declare their assets to the presidential panel.

Ibrahim is said to be the Director of Finance and Account in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, while his brother, Tijani, is said to be a member of the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative and a former Interim National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress.

The panel on Thursday filed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/4/2018 containing two counts of failure of the defendants to declare  their assets “without reasonable excuse and upon the notice to declare” them before the panel.

Earlier on December 6, 2017, Justice Muawiyah Idris of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, had ordered that 86 luxurious vehicles together with four houses and a quarry plant in Abuja, all of which the panel allegedly seized from the two defendants should be forfeited to the FG.

It has had been reported that all the seized 86 vehicles, 23 of which were said to be amoured, were described by detectives as brand new.

The court’s forfeiture orders also affected four houses, two of which were located in Wuse II, one in Wuse Zone 7, and the other in Jabi, all in Abuja.

Also forfeited to the government in the interim, was a quarry plant in Kuje, Abuja.

Eight containers with household items also seized by the panel from Tumsah were also affected by the court order.

The 86 vehicles, the landed assets, and the other items were said to have been found on November 17, 2017, in a warehouse located on the premises of the house at 22, Igbani Street, Jabi, Abuja.

The criminal suit filed against the defendants on Thursday was signed by Celsus Ukpong, a Chief Superintendent with the panel, on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation.

The charges were said to be contrary to and punishable under section 3(3)(1)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provision) Act 2004.

Justice Idris of the FCT High Court had made the interim forfeiture orders with respect of the seized assets on December 6, 2017.

The judge made the orders following an ex parte application by the presidential panel filed on November 23, 2017.

Apart from the 86 cars, also affected by the interim forfeiture orders were houses  located at 34, Euphrate Street, Wuse II, Abuja; 5, Siraso Crescent, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja; 27, Cairo Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, and 22, Igbani Street, Jabi, Abuja.

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