A Lagos division of the Federal High Court has permanently forfeited the controversial Flat 7B, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos to the Federal Government on Friday, January 19, 2018.
The loot of $43.5 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million was recovered from the apartment by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during a raid on April 12, 2017.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Saliu Saidu on Friday, he ordered the permanent forfeiture of the property to the Federal Government who traced the ownership of the apartment to Mrs. Folashade Oke, the wife of former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, who was sacked over the controversy.
Justice Saidu also dismissed Union Bank’s claim to the property, ruling that the financial institution is a busybody.
In last year’s court sessions, the EFCC submitted that Folashade Oke acquired the property with the proceeds of crime.
History of Ikoyi loot
A lot of controversy trailed the discovery of the loot, with public outcry, especially on social media, demanding that the culprits be brought to book.
The loot was initially claimed to belong to the NIA when Oke said that the amount in the apartment was marked for covert operations. After President Buhari suspended Oke and set up a three-man panel headed by Osinbajo, to properly investigate the matter, he was sacked on October 30, 2017.
The issue became even more controversial when Senator George Sekibo, a lawmaker who represented Rivers East senatorial district at the time, appeared at plenary with a whistle, claiming that the loot belongs to the Rivers state government.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, further claimed ownership of the funds which he alleged were misappropriated from the state by his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Former aviation minister, Fani Kayode, and spokesperson of Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, Lere Olayinka also insisted that the apartment where the loot was found belonged to Amaechi. The current Minister of Transportation strongly denied the claims.
The loot has also been linked to former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu; senator representing Lagos west, Solomon Adeola; and an ex-managing director of Petroleum Products Pricing and Marketing Company (PPMC), Esther Nnamdi-Obue.
On June 6, 2017, Justice Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court division in Lagos also ordered the final forfeiture of the monies recovered to the Federal Government.
Source: The Metrolawyer