The Abia Government has given a seven-day ultimatum to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; to unseal six government properties that were ‘wrongly ‘sealed in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Abia state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uche Ihediwa.
Ihediwa described the act as a brazen disregard of the regulatory, enforcement and investigative provisions of the law.
Specifically, he accused the EFCC of dishonesty after the commission marked and sealed assets and property of the State government; located in various locations in the Abia State Capital, Umuahia under the guise that these assets and properties were under investigation.
Meanwhile, the properties which were sealed by the EFCC include; the Abia Mall, the Housing Estate at Adelabu Street, Umuahia; the former Township main market at Ogwumabiri; the Millennium Luxury Apartments, Umuahia, Abia Hotels, and Linto Estate, Old Timber Shed.
Further, he explained that the commission had in 2016, investigated the ownership of most of these properties. He added that at that time, the Certificates of Occupancy and Public-Private Partnership Agreements between the State Government and Investors; in respect of the properties were duly submitted to the Commission which found them satisfactory.
”It is pertinent to note that the properties listed above belong to the Abia State Government and are not under investigation by the EFCC.
”Abia State Government duly entered into arrangements with credible investors for the development of these properties under Public-Private Partnerships; which means that the reversionary interests in these properties still reside in the State Government.
”As noted earlier in this briefing; ownership of the properties by the Abia State Government is not subject to an EFCC investigation.
”The unwarranted and unlawful actions of the EFCC has fine incalculable harm to the economy of the State by scaring away high profile investors from the State.
”In the light of the foregoing, the EFCC is hereby given Seven (7) days from today to remove the offensive and provocative notices placed on the above-listed properties or estates.
Furthermore, he insisted that the Commission must apologize for its actions.
”The EFCC must tender an apology to the Abia State Government within the same period.
”Failure to comply with these demands will leave the State Government with no option but to seek appropriate redress in a court of law,” Ihediwa said.