Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has denied buying a property from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions (EFCC).
The property, claimed to worth N1billion is said to have been recovered by the presidential task force on pension reform, was linked to Abdulrasheed Maina, a former pension boss whose recall into the civil service is being probed.
Falana in a statement on Saturday, November 25, referred to a media report which quoted Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, as saying the said property worth N1 billion was sold to “a Lagos lawyer”. He said contrary to this claim, he never bought any property from EFCC, explaining that the asset was used as a collateral over 10 years ago by A Group Properties.
“Contrary to Mr Malami’s claim, I never bought any property from the EFCC. If Mr Malami had conducted a search on the property in question, he would have found that it was one of the assets used to collaterise a loan obtained from Bank PHB by A Group Properties over 10 years ago. He would also have found that the property is a subject matter of a suit which is currently pending before the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja. (See Suit No /2015 between Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria v A Group Properties Limited).”
Falana said the suit where the asset was used as collateral was instituted by AMCON due to the failure of the company to liquidate the loan.
“In granting the ex-parte application filed by AMCON in the matter the court ordered an interim forfeiture of the assets of A Group Properties Limited including No 42, Gana Street, Maitama District, Abuja. The said order was granted on November 11, 2015. However, in a bid to pay the loan A Group Properties Limited decided to sell some of the properties. The sale of the property in question to me was made subject to the setting aside of the order of interim forfeiture which had been obtained by AMCON,” Falana said in the statement.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria added that, up till now, the case has not been concluded as the parties have asked for time to resolve the dispute amicably and file terms of the settlement. To that extent, the transaction on the property remains inchoate.