The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission is set to seize plots of land and buildings worth N4.8 billion from 30 companies operating in Nigeria.
Late President Yar’Adua The move by the anti-graft agency to seize the property located in many parts of the Federal Capital Territory followed a complaint by the Federal Inland Revenue Service that the affected firms have been defaulting in the payment of prescribed taxes to the government despite several reminders.
But a major setback to the owners of the identified property emerged recently when the owners denied ownership apparently to escape the sanctions being applied by the federal government.
The property to be seized include 22.9 hectares of undeveloped land, one plaza, and a block of six two-bedroom flats located in Wuse, Zone One, Abuja belonging to Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation, Vibrant Issuance Brokers, Millard Fuller Foundation, Maibuhu Farm and Construction Limited, Gabcon Enterprises Limited and a host of others.
In the course of investigation, the alleged owners of the properties disclaimed ownership. A statement by the Spokesperson of the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, explained that the decision to seize the properties spread around Abuja, followed a petition to ICPC by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), accusing the companies of defaulting in tax payment to the tune of N288.2 million.
Section 37 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 empowers ICPC to seize assets alleged to be subject of an offence under the law while Section 48 authorises it to apply to a High Court for an order of forfeiture within 12 months of the date of seizure.