By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The Federal government, yesterday, prayed the Federal High Court Abuja, to restrain the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu from further selling off his properties.
In a counter affidavit filed on 26 March, in response to Ekweremadu’s motion on notice, the federal government told the court that the Senator had made desperate bid to avoid forfeiting the properties to the Federal Government.
The FG informed the court that the Deputy Senate President has already sold two of his three undeclared properties in Kissimmee, Florida, United States of America.
The counter affidavit deposed to by one Yohanna Shankuk, averred that the properties which were bought in 2008 for $200,000 each were put on the market in January and sold for $150,000 to the same buyer on February 20 2018.
Also, The Federal Government prayed the court to grant the application to enable the Special Presidential Investigation panel for the Recovery of Public Property, SPIP chaired by Okoi Obono-Obla to also investigate the alleged buyers.
It was also revealed that the petition that landed the Deputy Senate President in the legal battle was written by a retired Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice Innocent Umezulike.
In the petition dated March 23, 2018 the retired CJ said that he was impelled by civic responsibility to lodge a complain to the SPIP to the effect that the life style of Ekweremadu and the massive property he had acquired are not justified by his source of income.
The retired CJ said in the petition that,” In sum, from 1999 till date, he has been in the realms of public office without any break to engage in any personal business. Thus, his emoluments in the past 18 years is easily ascertainable from revenue mobilisation allocation and fiscal commission.
“Prior to his entry into public office in 1999, he was not a successful lawyer, he lived in the dirt of high density suburb of Enugu at No:17 ,Mike Ejeagha street, Abakpa -Nike, Enugu.
“Curiously, in a space of 18 years, the suspect has amassed and stashed billions of naira in cash and choice properties strewn in major cities in four continents of the world. The cash is locked up in the vault of sterling bank PLC and UBA” the CJ stated.
The matter assigned to Justice Binta Nyako was adjourned to June 5, 2018 for hearing.