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Pension thief loses hotel to FG

The Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, has granted a prayer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that Brifina Hotel, Abuja be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said in an electronic mail to our correspondent on Tuesday that the hotel was traced to a former Director in charge of Pension Accounts in the office of the Head of Service, Dr. Sani Teidi.

Teidi  is being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged pension fraud involving about N18.3bn.

Uwujaren said the hotel located at Plot 1106 Cadastral Zone, B02 Durumi District, Abuja was alleged to be a property acquired by Teidi, with the proceeds of the suspected fraud.

He said that Teidi denied ownership of the property in spite of the fact that the commission traced it to him.

He said that investigations by the EFCC showed that the accused purchased the hotel through his company, Badawulu Ventures, for N339m.

Uwujaren said that the commission had earlier secured an interim forfeiture of the hotel from Justice Adamu Bello.

He said the EFCC counsel, Chief Godwin Obla, (SAN), had urged the court to grant his client’s prayers for permanent forfeiture of the hotel in consonance with the provisions of 264 of the Criminal Procedure Act, section 34(i) of the EFCC Act and the rules of the Federal High Court. This, Uwujaren said, was because there was evidence that the property was bought with proceeds of the crime.

He said that counsel for Teidi, James Onoja, did not oppose the prayers on the premise that he was not aware that the proceeds of crime were used to acquire the property.

The EFCC spokesman said that the  Justice Ademola subsequently granted the commission’s application.

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