The last may not have been heard of the seized properties of the former Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
It would be recalled the that Asset Management Corporation of Nigerian (AMCON) took possession of the palatial mansion of the immediate past governor of Kwara state.
The mansion which is situated at No 9A, Abdulrazaq street, GRA Ilorin, the state capital, was taken over an alleged N5b debt.
According to Jude Nwazor, spokesman of AMCON, the corporation seized the property as a result of the non-performing loans of the former governor and his companies from the former Intercontinental Bank, FinBank and Bank PHB.
He said all efforts to recover the debt from the former governor proved abortive until the corporation got justice in court.
Hon. Justice A.M. Liman ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of the former governor and his two companies including Trans Properties and Investment Limited and Trans It Consulting Limited in Suit No: FHC/L/AMC/01/2021.
They listed the following properties for seizure:
No 13, Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere
No. 9 Wharf, Apapa.
Plot 3632, Cadastral Zone E27 of Apo
Plot 4115, Cadastral Zone F14 of Bazango
Plot 8502, Cadastral Zone E31 of Carraway Dallas
Plot 494, Cadastral Zone E31 of Carraway Dallas
Plot 719, Cadastral Zone E23 of Kyami, Abuja.
According to the lawyer to AMCON, Barrister Robert Ohuoba, who executed the possession order, Ahmed was given the opportunity to negotiate the payment of the N5b debt but he refused.
Ahmed’s refusal is tactical according to a reliable source. As a seasoned banker, he had prepared sustainable alibis for the properties acquired with funds allegedly stolen from the coffers of Kwara State while he was Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development at the start of Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s Administration. He also became Commissioner of the newly created Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. The N5b debt was incurred in 2008 while he was a government appointee.
Investigations revealed that the former Governor, deliberately borrowed money to fund the purchase of assets outside the state
The idea was that when he is investigated, he will simply say it was funded with a bank loan.
There was well structured plans to pay the loans through some pseudo investments that would give legitimacy to the acquired assets.
A reminder is the failed attempt by his former principal and former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, during the much celebrated case with Code of Conduct Tribunal, where he claimed he funded the acquisition of some properties with his investment in rice farming, a farm which location was never disclosed through out the trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May released Abdulfatah Ahmed, after detaining him for two nights over corruption allegations .
Mr Ahmed was detained by the operatives of the anti-corruption agency after he honoured an invitation by the agency.
The sources said the commission had invited Mr Ahmed in connection with a case involving alleged diversion of N9billion from the coffers of Kwara State government during his tenure as governor of the state between 2011 and 2019.
Our source reliably informed us that the former governor was grilled by a crack team of the commission at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
What EFCC did thereafter was to wait for him and see where all his loans including the N5b will be paid from to enable them track the source of payments.
On realising EFCC’s trap, Abdulfatah Ahmed abandoned any attempt to pay back the loan because it will eventually lead EFCC to the accounts were he is hiding his cash, hence, refusing to pay back the N5b debt which led to AMCON taking over 7 of his properties within and outside Kwara State.