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24 Jul 2017

EFCC Seals, Takes Over Popular Hotel In Lagos

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been ordered to temporarily take over Victoria East Park Hotel and Suites, Ikorodu, Lagos for 21 days.
The property said to belong to one Ebiesuwa Frederick is suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of criminal economic activity.
Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos gave the directive for the temporary forfeiture based on the alleged fraud of 53.7 million Naira still under investigation which was said to have been committed by the owner of the property.
The period of forfeiture will enable EFCC to conclude its investigation on the alleged fraud.
Obiozor, therefore, adjourned the matter to 9th August for further proceeding.
EFCC had in an exparte application told the court that it believed that the hotel located at Igbogbo-Mayegun Road, Ikorodu, was acquired with proceeds of fraud by one Ebiesuwa Frederick who is suspected to be the leader of a syndicate of fraudulent persons.
The alleged gang is said to be based in Ibadan and has its accomplices in Lagos State.
Counsel for the EFCC, Ayanfeoluwa Ogunsina, told Justice Obiozor that the anti-graft agency sought to take over the hotel so as to prevent the fraudsters from disposing of it while investigation was still ongoing, thereby “defeating the end of justice.
Ogunsina said the EFCC was investigating Fredrick and members of his fraud syndicate who were still at large, based on a petition it received from one Dunni Olagbegi, who claimed to have been duped to the tune of N53.7m by the suspects.
An investigating officer with the EFCC, Chris Odofin, who deposed to an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, said: “The antics of these fraudsters include luring people into their criminal den where they present one of them as a pastor, hypotise their victim, make the victim take an oath never to reveal what they say or do and then use all sorts of deceitful methods to collect money from the victim.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the respondent (Fredrick) is a member of the syndicate of fraudsters that specialise in duping unsuspecting members of the society and have duped several people through this means and are still on the prowl, seeking more people to devour.
“The respondent and some members of his syndicate are based in Ibadan while they also have accomplices in Lagos.
“They launder the proceeds of their criminal activities through acquisition of landed properties within and outside Ibadan with a view to legitimising and integrating their ill-gotten wealth into the mainstream economy, despite the fact that they have no legitimate sources of income.”
After entertaining argument by the EFCC lawyer, Ogunsina, Justice Obiozor, in a short ruling, granted the application, empowering the anti-graft agency to take over Victoria East Park Hotel and Suites for 21 days.
The judge directed the anti-graft agency to paste the court order in a conspicuous place on the premises of the hotel.
He adjourned further proceedings in the case till August 9, 2017.
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Item Reviewed: EFCC Seals, Takes Over Popular Hotel In Lagos Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Link Naija