Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja has vacated an interim forfeiture of 40 landed properties granted against the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
Justice Ekwo gave the order following a discovery that the Forfeiture Order was fraudulently obtained by the Federal Government against the properties.
While lifting the order, the Judge held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which obtained the order on behalf of the Federal Government concealed information that led to granting it.
Specifically, Justice Ekwo said EFCC which was fully aware that Ekweremadu was in custody in the United Kingdom failed to make the vital information available to court.
The Judge agreed with the counsel to Ekweremadu, Adegboyega Awomolo, that there was no way the former Deputy President of the Senate would be able to defend his ownership of the disputed properties.
Justice Ekwo had on November 4 last year issued the interim Forfeiture Order in favour of the Federal Government following an ex-parte application brought before him by EFCC.
The Judge had specifically directed that anyone who had interest in the forfeited properties should indicate within 14 days of the publication of the interim forfeiture order from the court.
The former Deputy Senate President and his wife are currently standing trial in the United Kingdom over an alleged organ harvest.