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EFCC replies Abia State Govt over marked property, says ‘no going back’

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THE Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says a property in Abia State that is marked for being under investigation would continue to bear the mark as it is still under investigation.

This follows a statement by the Government of Abia State on Monday giving the EFCC a seven-day ultimatum to remove what it described as ‘offensive’ notices placed on some of its property, saying they are assets of the state government.

Uche Ihediwa, Abia State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice,   who issued the ultimatum while speaking on the recent sealing of some property in the state by the Commission, said some of the property purported to belong to a highly placed politician in the state are owned by the state.

But in a reaction on Tuesday, Dele Oyewale, spokesperson of EFCC  said the notice on the property would not be removed as demanded by the state government.

Oyewale revealed that the property was marked because it is being investigated with possible links to the former governor of the state, Orji Uzor-Kalu.

“We marked the property because it is under investigation with links to the former governor of the state, Kalu and it’ll be marked till the conclusion of our investigation,” Oyewale told The ICIR in a telephone interview.

On Monday, Ihediwa had  said that the state government would be left with no other option but to seek redress in court if the EFCC fails to apologise within the seven-day period.

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He explained that the assets marked by the EFCC belonged to the state government, adding that Abia government duly entered into partnership arrangements with credible investors for the development of those properties under public-private partnerships while the reversionary interest in the properties still resides in the state government.

Kalu was recently released from prison after he had spent more than 150 days following a verdict by the Court of Appeal over 7.1bn fraud while he served as governor of the state.

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Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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