By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been faulted for its decision to confiscate landed properties believed to be owned by the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Brigadier-General Jafaru Mohammed.
EFCC’s operatives were said to have, earlier this week, sealed off over 20 choice properties in Kano State allegedly linked to Brigadier-General Mohammed, assets a Kano-based businessman, Tanimu Inusa claimed were wrongly confiscated.
Lawyer to Inusa, Sagir Gezawa, said the properties belong to his client, and that he acquired them long before some recent transactions said to have been linked to linked to Brig-Gen. Mohammed.
Gezawa noted that not only did the EFCC failed to obtain any court order directing the seizure of properties, which are not subjects of any litigation, some of the leased properties have already been sold off years back by Inusa.
He added that Inusa “is a businessman who earlier engaged in the business of commodity and general provisions at the famous Singer Market in Kano before he ventured into property development business which he formalised by registering Tasaf General Merchandise Ltd in January 2009.
”He has been running such business successfully and established a very good reputation in that regard, especially in Kano, both in his personal name and the name of the company to the extent that he can actually lose count on the number of properties he developed and sold as well as layouts he developed from large farmlands into plots.
”It was while he was at one of the properties, he was developing in Kano along Gidado Road on Friday the 3rd day of April 2020 when operatives of the EFCC stormed the premises with armed policemen and arrested him. He was taken to the Kano Zonal Office of the commission and was later detained.
”The following morning being Saturday the 4th day of April 2020, Alhaji Inusa was taken almost round Kano State the whole day where his residence and office were both searched and some properties belonging to a company called Atlasfield Integrated Limited were also visited.
“Even though, up to that moment nobody informed him precisely what his offence was but according to him, he was asked several questions about the acquisition of certain properties made by Atlasfield Integrated Limited and his relationship with the company.
“It was in that respect that he has so far made several statements to the Commission both while in detention and even after he was released on bail, but all the questions revolved around his relationship with Atlasfield.
“Alhaji Inusa informed officers of the EFCC about his relationship with one General Aminu Kano Maude who is now late whom he met about 4 years ago as a result of certain properties he purchased from him or through him as an agent,” Gezawa said.
The lawyer stated that the over 20 properties marked in Kano on Tuesday by operatives of the EFCC were owned by his client Inusa.
“The titles of all the properties either bears his name Tanimu Abdullahi or his company Tasaf General Merchandise Ltd.
“The company was registered in January 2009 and it has been in business since then, while Atlasfield Integrated Limited, which is the subject of this investigation was registered in 2016.
“One of the properties marked today is his personal residence which he acquired in 2009, and his office, which was also marked today, was acquired in 2011 — that is about five to seven years before Atlastfield was registered.
“It is surprising that among the properties marked, there are ones he sold years ago,” Gezawa said.