How EFCC, DSS Convert Seized Property To Personal Use

Some choice property seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under interim forfeiture and investigations are now being used as accommodation and transit camps by their operatives and other security agencies in some parts of the country, Daily’s investigations reveal.

Hotels and residential buildings on which permanent forfeiture orders are yet to be obtained are some of the properties that have been converted to use by the EFCC, police, DSS, and civil defence officials.

While the federal government has the power to allocate permanently forfeited property to security and other government agencies, legal practitioners say governments at the federal and state levels do not have the power to tamper with buildings under temporary forfeiture.

An interim forfeiture order obtained through an “exparte order” is usually for 14 days to preserve such property (subject matter) so that it will not be dissipated or sold.

Within 14 days, the owner, if any, is expected to come forward to explain why such property should not be forfeited to the federal government.

However, there is serious uncertainty over the powers of the EFCC to manage property and assets forfeited to the federal government.

Initially, EFCC engaged agents to manage property and assets on its behalf while the interim forfeiture order was in force to maintain the value of the property and to prevent waste.

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