Why ICPC seized N/Delta ministry staff’s multi-million Naira property – Nta

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The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta, has clarified the decision by the anti-graft agency to seize 24 property and several cars from three officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta.

Nta who spoke on a Television programme in Abuja, explained that those property were excessive, having regards to their present emoluments and all other relevant circumstances.

According to a document from the office of the chairman dated 11 August, 2015 with the title ‘Notice of Seizure of Movable and Immovable Properties Pursuant to Section 45(4) a – (b) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000, the commission seized the property from the officials who are under investigation.

The Niger Delta ministry officers listed in the document are Poloma Kabiru Nuhu, Mangset Longyl Dickson and Daniel Obah.

The decision to seize the property had been served on the appropriate Land Registries and Departments in all the states where the property are situated.

According to the Chairman, “the commission is of the opinion based on the aforementioned investigation that these movable and immovable property owned by these people who are staff of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are excessive, having regards to their present emoluments and all other relevant circumstances.”

“The chairman of ICPC has the powers to seize properties, and preventing those being investigated from selling them off until we conclude investigation and the matter has been charged to court or that we are of the estimation that your earnings cannot support it.

“The onus is on you to prove that these are properties you have acquired legitimately. The act of seizure does not mean that we have found you guilty, it is just to preserve the property.

“The next step is to go to court, you that I have siezed the property from can go to court to challenge that but if you do not challenge me within one year, I can also go to court and ask the court to forfeit the property to the federal government of nigeria,” he said.

Nta explained further that “We cannot act outside of the law, otherwise people might tend to abuse such powers, so we are very careful in doing that, and that doesn’t stop at properties alone but also vehicles and monies in the
banks.

“I have tried in ICPC not to have my premises littered with hundreds of vehicles that we may seize or may have seized so the law also provides that if you have not been found guilty, only the law can do that, you can keep the vehicle but you will have to sign a bond, if the court finds you guilty and you for any reason are not able to produce the car, you pay the equivalent amount.”

According to the ICPC boss, one of the officers, Nuhu, has 10 hectares of land, covered by Right of Occupancy at Kuje valued at N50 million, stating that the same officer has an uncompleted duplex at Diamond Estate, Apo, Abuja, that is worth N90 million.

Nta also said Nuhu has 16 plots of land which are all covered by Certificate of Occupancy in different parts of Gwagwalada, Abuja.

Another civil servant on the ICPC list, Dickson, is said to have a plot of land at Kubwa District, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, valued at N7 million.

The third official, Obah, is said to own different plots of land in Abuja and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Nta said Obah has a four-bedroom duplex at Karsana South District, Abuja, valued at N60 million, as well as a plot of land at Ozuoba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Other plots of land said to belong to Obah are located in Umuodili Odubo Community in Rivers that worth N16.5m; Olipobo Rumuekini Layout, Obio Akpor Local Government Area valued at N18m and another plot at Livingstone Estate Umuogodo, Igbo Etche in Obio Akpor Local Government of the Rivers State.

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