Plans by Federal Government to convert landed property seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for office use has been described as appropriate.
In an interview in Abuja yesterday, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele said where the forfeitures have been ordered by the courts, it becomes non-contestable that the seized property belongs to the government and can be used by the authorities for whatever purpose they deem fit.
“Issues will only arise if the government plans to do so when matters on the property, alleged to have been got fraudulently, are still pending in courts. In that case, the government will have no rights over them, as they will still be seen as belonging to their owners,” said the lawmaker.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had few months ago announced the desire of the government to convert the about 203 landed property recovered from alleged corrupt politicians and influential citizens in the country and overseas to accommodate some agencies of government.
According to Adeosun, the decision is to cut costs and save revenues for payments of rents.At the presentation of 2017 budget proposals to the joint session of the National Assembly last month, President Muhammadu Buhari said through the conversion, the government would, alongside other reductions of costs, be able to save N180 billion annually.
As at last year, EFCC had reportedly recovered N2trillion from 46 alleged corrupt citizens. Among who, the commission said, included former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani and former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.