An Abuja Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Maryam A. Hassan has granted the application of Alhaji Balarabe Idris and his nine siblings, seeking to set aside an earlier order obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The order alleged that the properties in question belonged to former Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, and were acquired through illicit means.
Justice Watch News recalls that the interim forfeiture order granted on December 13, 2022, by the presiding judge, it was revealed that 15 properties were alleged to belong to Alhaji Ahmed Idris.
However, the applicants, represented by their counsel Barrister Aminu Hussaini Sagagi, approached the court to challenge the order on the grounds that three of the properties were not owned by Alhaji Ahmed Idris, but by the heirs of their late father, Alhaji Hussaini Shitu.
Barrister Sagagi argued that the properties had been inherited by the entire family, and there was an agreement dating back to 1990 to maintain and develop the properties collectively.
Specifically, he identified the three properties as the Ultra Modern Market in Gezawa, AL-IKHLAS Modern Supermarket, and a house located in Daneji within Kano Metropolis.
Justice Maryam, in her judgment, found that the documents presented during the trial proved that the properties were not acquired through criminal proceeds.
She acknowledged that misinformation had led to the mistaken belief that the properties belonged to Alhaji Ahmed Idris.
As a result, the court set aside the entire order granted by the EFCC and affirmed the ownership of the three properties to Alhaji Balarabe Idris and his siblings.
This ruling implies that not only were the three properties in question removed from the forfeiture order, but the entire order was set aside.
Following this decision, the affected properties will be rightfully returned to Alhaji Balarabe Idris and his siblings.
In a chat with Justice Watch News, counsel of the Applicants Barrister AH Sagagi said the outcome of the case serves as a reminder of the importance of providing accurate information and conducting thorough investigations before granting forfeiture orders.
He also highlighted the need for the justice system to ensure fairness and protect the rights of individuals when dealing with cases involving alleged illegal acquisitions.