Alleged Organ Harvest: EFCC Behind My Travails – Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu
Ike Ekweremadu, the embattled former Deputy Senate President, told Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was to blame for his troubles at the London Court, where he had been detained over alleged organ harvesting.
The Senator, who is being held in London on suspicion of organ harvesting, told the Federal High Court that the EFCC wrote a letter to the London Court, causing the foreign court to refuse to admit him to bail.
Ekweremadu’s allegations were contained in an application he filed before the Nigerian court seeking an order of the court to set aside interim order granted in favour of the Federal Government for forfeiture of his 40 properties in the country and outside the country.
The ex-Deputy Senate President in the application by his counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), claimed that the forfeiture order was granted to the Federal Government in error because the EFCC suppressed information and facts in respect of the properties.
Specifically, the detained Senator alleged that the EFCC fraudulently obtained the forfeiture order for the government by concealing information that the investigation on the 40 properties started as far back as 2008.
Among others, he alleged that the EFCC was fully aware that he was in detention in London when the application for forfeiture of the properties was filed and argued.
He said that the anti-graft agency deliberately refused to disclose to the court that he was in London detention and would not be able to counter the forfeiture request.
Ekweremadu, therefore, prayed the court to set aside the forfeiture order and stay proceedings in the matter until he resolves his ordeal before the London Court.
However, counsel to the EFCC, Silvanus Tahir (SAN), denied that the commission was behind Ekweremadu’s ordeal.
While admitting that EFCC wrote the London Court based on a special request, he said that it was a normal routine for anti-graft agencies to exchange information that would be of help to one another.
Tahir did not oppose the request for a stay of proceedings till Ekweremadu fully resolve his matter before the London Court but however, vehemently opposed the request for setting aside the forfeiture order.
Justice Ekwo after taking arguments from parties fixed January 25 next year for ruling in the matter.
The Court had on Friday, November 4 ordered interim forfeiture of 40 landed property linked to Ekweremadu in some parts of the country and outside the country.
Justice Ekwo issued the order following an ex -parte motion filed and moved by Ibrahim Buba, lawyer to the EFCC.
The Judge, who granted the motion, ordered the EFCC to publish the interim forfeiture order of the property in a national daily within seven days.
He had directed anybody who has an interest in the forfeited property to indicate within 14 days of the publication of the interim forfeiture order why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The affected properties included 10 property in Enugu, three in the United States of America, two in the UK, one in Lagos, nine in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and 15 located in the Federal Capital Territory.