The Abia State Government has threatened to charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to court for sealing some assets and estates in the state.
Some of the sealed properties include the Abia Mall, the Adelabu Housing Estate, the former township main market, Ogwumabiri, Millennium Luxury Apartment, Abia Hotels and Linto Estate, Old Timber Market, all in Umuahia.
This was disclosed by the Abia state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of state Chief Uche Ihediwa while addressing newsmen.
Chief Ihediwa said some of the assets sealed by the anti-graft ageny belong to the state government which entered into partnership arrangements with credible investors for the development of those properties under the public private partnership (PPP).
Describing the action of the anti-graft agency as ‘unwarranted and unlawful’, Ihediwa further requested the agency to issue an unreserved apology to the state within seven days in view of the inconvenience its action caused.
The commissioner alleged that the EFCC who did not write the state government to “find out the ownership of the said properties whose title documents are domiciled in the State Ministry of Lands” before sealing them off, caused harm to the state economy by scaring investors.
According to report, Ihediwa maintained that the law establishing the EFCC makes it clear that the commission can only seal property of persons under investigation.
He affirmed that the ownership of the property in question is not under investigation as he recalled how same anti-graft agency, investigated the ownership of most of those properties and the certificates of occupancy (CoO) and public private partnership agreement between the state government and investors of the various assets in 2006.