The Federal Government has asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to reverse the July 28 judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja releasing 12 property earlier seized from a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin, and a serving Deputy Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Adam Imam Yusuf.
The request is contained in a Notice of Appeal filed in the name of the Federal Government by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) through its lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimsingha.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja (now retired) had, on November 25, 2019, granted an interim forfeiture order on the property pending a formal hearing of a motion for permanent forfeiture.
The ICPC had, in its application for the interim forfeiture, identified some of the property to include hotels, filling stations, residential apartments, undeveloped parcels of land, among others, located in Abuja, Kogi and Rivers states.
The commission stated, in a supporting affidavit, that its preliminary investigations showed that Yusuf and Jibrin allegedly acquired the property through money laundering activities, using about 13 companies.
It added: “Adam Imam Yusuf was alleged to have been, in active connivance with former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin (who was Chief of Naval Staff between 2014 and 2015), to defraud the Federal Government of Nigeria vide certain phoney financial transactions through suspicious individuals and corporate entities.
“Adam Imam Yusuf was alleged to have been used by Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin as a front to make funny financial transactions for the purchase of moveable and immovable assets worth billions of naira.
“Adam Imam Yusuf was also alleged to have bought several other immovable assets outside Nigeria, that is, Dubai, among other countries, through proxies and held same in trust for Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin.
“Intelligence report also alleged that a man, Ademu Lawal Mohammed, was also a proxy and front for Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin wherein moveable and immovable assets were bought through him to hold in trust for the said Vice Admiral Oyibe Jibrin.
But, in a judgment on July 28, 2022, Justice Taiwo vacated the interim forfeiture order and released the property to Jibrin and Yusuf on the grounds that the ICPC failed to prove its case.
In the five-ground Notice of Appeal filed on September 15, 2022, the ICPC is contending that Justice Taiwo erred in law when he ordered the release of the 12 property.
It listed the property as: Ummays Hummays Energy (petrol filling station) at Atkasuwandere, Gwagwalada; Ummays Hummays Energy (petrol filling station) at Area Council Office, Gwagwalada; Ummays Hummays Energy (petrol filling station) at Wazobia Motor Park, Gwagwalada; Ummays Hummays Energy (petrol filling station) beside Atlas Hotel, Gwagwalada and seven hectares of land at Passo, Gwagwalada (all in Abuja).
Others are: Oyibe Hotels & Suites Limited in Lokoja, Kogi State; Lahab Bakery in Lokoja, Kogi State; House 21, 2nd Avenue, Paradise Hills Estate, Guzape, Abuja; House 23, 2nd Avenue, Paradise Hills Estate, Guzape, Abuja and Flat 6, Ile Ife Street, Off Emeka Anyaoku Street, Area 8, Garki, Abuja. (Nation)