Enugu intensifies efforts to recover forfeited property
Strong indications have emerged that Enugu State government may have intensified efforts to recover forfeited corruption proceeds in the state, almost two years after their conviction was secured.
The Guardian gathered yesterday that the development might not be unconnected with public outcry over the level of decay of the forfeited property located in the heart of the city, adding that some of them have become hideouts for criminals due to thick bushes growing in them.
The former governor of the state, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani, who governed Enugu state from 1999 to 2007, forfeited these properties.Ruling on a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Nnamani and companies associated with him, Justice Mohammed Yinusa of the federal high court, Lagos on July 8, 2015, convicted four companies operating in the state and ordered that their properties be forfeited to the federal government.
The companies, which included Rainbownet Nigeria Limited, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile and Renaissance University Teaching hospital, had pleaded guilty to a 10-count amended charge brought against them by the commission.
Also forfeited to the federal government were properties of Hill Gate Investment, which included several undeveloped landed property and residential buildings. Some of the companies, which were operational before they were taken to court, stopped functioning before the judgment of the court in 2015 and have since then become an eyesore in the state.
Commissioner of Justice and Attorney general of Enugu state, Mr. Milletus Eze, said that Enugu state government was desirous to have the properties returned to it, “Because it is money stolen from us that was used to build them”.