Report that I Bought Property From EFCC, ploy by FG to tarnish my reputation – Falana
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), says contrary to a report making the rounds, he has never bought any property from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a communique on Friday, Falana said the claims by the online medium that ran the report are false, adding that the publication was a ploy by the Federal Government to tarnish his reputation.
According to the rights advocate, the claim that he bought a property from the antigraft agency is one of several attempts by the government to soil his name and bring him to disrepute.
Falana’s statement comes on the heels of a testimony by a witness, Mr. Ngozika Ihuoma who told the Federal High Court in Abuja that a property allegedly recovered by the Pension Reform Task Force, valued at six billion naira was sold to Mr. Falana for one billion naira sometime in 2015.
Reacting, the rights advocate said the property in question was never recovered by the presidential pension task force and that it is on record that the property was used as collateral by the owner, A. Group properties limited, with regards to a loan from Bank PHB in 2008.
He said when the owner of the property defaulted in the payment of the loan it was taken over by the Asset Management of Nigeria (AMCON) via an order of interim forfeiture.
Falana further explained that in an attempt to liquidate the loan the owner of the property wanted to sell it and his law firm agreed to buy the property two hundred and fifty million naira, but they withdrew from the transaction due to the delay in resolving the case.
He noted that up till now, the case is still pending at the Federal High Court.
The human rights activist challenged the Federal Government to proceed to forfeit the alleged one billion naira purportedly paid by him and recover the property if it established that it was recovered by the pension task force.
“Sometime in April 2017 an online medium, sponsored by the Federal Government, claimed falsely that the had handed over a property confiscated from a former governor of Bayelsa State, the Late Chief D.S.P Alamieyesigha to me.
The malicious publication was dismissed when it was revealed that all confiscated properties from the ex-governor had been handed over to the Bayelsa State Government by the EFCC.
In November 2017, the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN alleged that the EFCC had sold one of the houses recovered by Mr. Abdurasheed Maina of the Pension Task Force to “a Lagos Lawyer”.
Even though Mr. Malami SAN did not mention my name I challenged him to provide details of the property. But the challenge was not taken up.