Apex Igbo sociocultural organisation; Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has condemned “the hasty judgement passed by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court to the effect that Senator Ike Ekweremadu should forfeit his 40 landed properties.”
Justice Inyang Ekwo made the order on Friday, following an ex-parte motion marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1242/2022 filed and moved by Ibrahim Buba on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Judge ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the interim forfeiture order of the properties in a national daily within seven days from the date the order was given.
The interim forfeiture order covers 10 Ekweremadu’s properties in Enugu, three in the United States of America (USA), two in the United Kingdom (UK), one in Lagos, nine in Dubai, and 15 located in the Federal Capital Territory.
However, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a statement signed by it’s National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, said the action of the anti-graft agency “falls short of ethical standards and natural justice.”
Ogbonnia noted that the former deputy president of the Senate should be given the opportunity to defend himself, while questioning the urgency attached to this matter while the court has a plethora of corruption cases pending in before it.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo stands on a moral probity to state that a hasty exparte motion filed by the EFCC on a man who is undergoing some travails in the United Kingdom falls short of ethical standards and natural justice.
“We maintain that Sen. Ike Ekweremadu should be given the opportunity to defend himself on his properties; and if found wanting should surely face the consequences.
“We are aware that there are several allegations of corruption cases pending in the EFCC but the urgency and selective judgement in the case of Ekweremadu is not only curious but indeed true to type.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on all the Nigerian legal luminaries of goodwill to intervene against gradual steps towards totalitarianism.”