EFCC set to seize judge’s N500 million houses
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may seize couple houses which belong to Federal High Court Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia. The EFCC are demanding explanation as to how she got the money to buy such amount of houses. One of the properties is located on 18 Lai Ajayi Bembe Street, Parkview Ikoyi, Lagos and another one on Atlantic Drive, UPDC Estate, Lekki with a total estimate of N500m .
EFCC also found another property in London belonging to Ajumogobia. According to sources provided to the EFCC, the house was paid for quickly even when the mortgage was suppose to expire in 2018
According to Punch news, incriminating documents were found on Ajumogobja property at Ikoyi which led to the investigation.
According to source at EFCC, “When we first invited her, she told us that she was ill and had been admitted at the Gold Cross Hospital, Bourdillon, Ikoyi. When we visited the place, we found out that she was not there.
“Moments later, some of the hospital staff tried to sneak her into the hospital but they were caught red-handed and they apologised. We later led the judge to her Parkview residence and searched the whole place.
“When asked where she got the money to build such a house, she said she got some money from her son who won a case against the London Police. She also gave some explanations which we are trying to verify.
“The Deed of Agreement is in someone else’s name but it carries her signature,”
“At the Lekki home located at the UPDC Estate, she claimed the property was rented but we don’t believe it so we have marked the building and it is under investigation.”
“We found out that she is a director in a company known as Silver Step Incorporated and that was the name used in buying the London property. The property was bought on mortgage and it was supposed to elapse in 2018. However, payment was completed in 2014.”
The anti-graft agency stated that they also traced a transaction involving $120,000 transfered to a foreign account from her domiciliary account used to buy the house in London in 2012.
Ajumogobia, however, said that the money was a loan from a family friend who is a chairman in an Oil and Gas company. The man was invited for questioning by the EFCC and testified that he had given her the money just to assist her.
The source also added that “Inquiry into the loan facility as claimed by both of them showed no formal agreement or documentation as to how and when the repayment would be made.
“However, the oil and gas company chairman is presently telling the commission the extent of his relationship and involvement with the funds which was wired into the judge’s personal account sometime in 2012 while she was already a sitting judge of the Federal High Court,”
According to EFCC source, seven other judges are currently under investigation by the EFCC and the Department of State Services.