A picture of what will become the fate of property seized by the Federal Government from Nigerians indicted of corruption has emerged.
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to occupy such properties.
The first among several of such buildings to be taken over by the MDAs on the order of the federal government are the forfeited mansions of former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
One of the seized Badeh’s mansions, which President Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to hand over to the MDAs, is located in Wuse 2 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Under the previous governments, especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo property seized from corrupt public office holders were left to rot away across the country.
The EFCC had seized several mansions allegedly acquired by Badeh with funds released by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to fight the Boko Haram terrorists and to resolve other security matters.
One of the mansions, a bricks house, located along Oda Street, off Aminu Kano Crescent in the Wuse 2 area of the FCT, has already been allocated to one of the agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information.
Badeh is one of the military officers that are being investigated and prosecuted by the present administration for corruption.
The former CDS is charged for misappropriating the security budget meant to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the North.
Badeh was arrested last year by the EFCC for allegedly stealing from the $2.1 billion Arms Funds – making him liable to the forfeiture of some of the choice property reportedly bought from the proceeds of the ill-gotten funds.
Sources within the EFCC confirmed that the commission has already approved the release of the mansion in Wuse 2 to the agency, based on the directive of the Presidency, adding that the EFCC is only finalising the process by applying the forfeiture clause in the case.
One of the sources, however, stated that the agency ought to have taken over the property before now, but for the delay by the EFCC counsel, who asked for more time, stressing that the said buildings were being presented before the court as exhibits to prosecute Badeh.