A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has ordered the final forfeiture of 60 buildings illegally acquired by a former Deputy Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Adenike Bintu, to the Federal Government.
Bintu was said to have defrauded over 1,000 persons, who subscribed to her housing estate located along the Airport Road, Abuja.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission had approached Justice O. Egwuata, praying for an order for the final forfeiture of the 60 buildings and a 9.6 hectares land, both located at Sabon-Lugbe South-West Extension, Airport Road, Abuja, alleged to have been acquired by Bintu through corrupt means.
The commission’s counsel, John-Paul Okwor, told the court that the ICPC was relying on Section 48 (1) (2) and (3) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, which gives it power to approach courts to forfeit properties corruptly acquired by individuals.
According to The Punch, a statement on Thursday by the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, titled, ‘ICPC: NSCDC commandant forfeits 60 buildings, land to FG,’ said the commission had argued before the court that the former commandant set up a private company, Faith Winners Victory Properties Limited, through which she allegedly perpetrated the fraud by selling plots of land to unsuspecting members of the public.
The court heard that Bintu claimed that the land, which she used in defrauding over 1,000 subscribers, was owned in partnership with the NSCDC.
The statement read, “However, the subscribers, who had made several payments running into millions of naira, were never allocated plots of land nor had their funds returned to them by Bintu and her company.
“Furthermore, ICPC proved before the court that Bintu, who had jumped bail and is now a fugitive, did not enter into any partnership with NSCDC to build estates for members of the public.”
She was said to have told the court in her arguments that ICPC had no powers to prosecute civil cases and that Sections 6 and 48 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, relied upon by the commission had been repealed by the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.
Our correspondent learnt that her arguments were dismissed by the court for lack of merit, and Justice Egwuata then ruled that all the 60 buildings and the 9.6 hectare of land situated at Sabon-Lugbe South-West Extension, Airport Road, Abuja, listed by ICPC be forfeited to the Federal Government.