The Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State, has ordered the final forfeiture of a N1.5bn property belonging to an aide of Rochas Okorocha, a former governor, to the Nigerian Government.
Justice T.G Ringin gave the order on Friday following an interim order obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for temporary forfeiture.
The EFCC accused the aide, Paschal Obi, former Permanent Secretary and Principal Secretary to Okorocha at the time, of building the property, Dews of Hope Hospital, with proceeds of illicit activities.
Although Obi was revealed as the signatory to the hospital's account, he denied ownership of the company.
The anti-graft agency also said the managing director of the hospital on an invitation could not also explain how the hospital was funded.
Explaining further, EFCC said, "These developments led the commission to file for the forfeiture of the property on July 25, 2019, under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, and Other Related Offences Act 2006.
“In granting the request for the interim forfeiture of the property, the court ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the order in a national newspaper, which was accordingly complied within The Nation of August 30, 2019 and Leadership newspaper of September 3, 2019 respectively, asking interested parties to show cause why the property should not be forfeited to the government within 14 days from the dates of the publications.
“Upon the expiration of the 14-day notice and with no one showing interest in the hospital, the commission filed for the final forfeiture of the facility.
“The hospital located at the heart of Owerri metropolis had an adjourning staff and doctor’s quarters.”
This comes only one day after the commission secure conviction of Orji Kalu, a former governor of Abia State.