A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday ordered the final forfeiture of 60 buildings illegally acquired by a former Deputy Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Adenike Bintu, to the Federal Government.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu who dismissed Bintu’s argument for lack of merit ruled that all the 60 buildings and the 9.6 hectares of land situated at Sabon-Lugbe South-West Extension, Airport Road, Abuja, listed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The ICPC had approached the court praying for an order for the final forfeiture of the 60 buildings and the 9.6 hectares land, alleged to have been acquired by Bintu through corrupt means.
Bintu was said to have defrauded over 1,000 persons, who subscribed to her housing estate located along the Airport Road in Abuja.
However, 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Sections 6 and 48 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, relied upon by the commission had been repealed by the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.
Also, Bintu claimed that the land, which she used in defrauding over 1,000 subscribers, was owned in partnership with the NSCDC.
But 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 the power to approach courts to forfeit properties corruptly acquired by individuals.
In a statement on Thursday, titled, ‘ICPC: NSCDC commandant forfeits 60 buildings, land to FG,’ the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, 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 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.”