Photo: ICPC seeks court order for forfeiture of petrol station, warehouse belonging to NDDC Director

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has asked a Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the interim forfeiture of a petrol station and a warehouse belonging to a Director in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Solomon Okpa Ita.

The Commission in an ex-parte motion, filed before the court accused the NDDC director of acquiring the properties that also included an event centre located in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with corrupt proceeds.

Coming through Section 6 (6) (a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, ICPC prayed the court to grant an order of interim forfeiture for Agare Wills Petroleum/ Gas Station Ltd, and Agare Wills Event Centre and Warehouse, all located on Parliamentary Extension Expressway, Calabar.

The Commission said that the director could not show evidence that the properties were obtained with his legitimate earnings.

The director was accused of using Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) as fronts to embezzle government money, which could have been used to acquire the properties under contention.

Investigation revealed that Solomon Ita, in one instance, facilitated the payment of N20 million into the account of one of the NGOs which was then transferred to the Zenith bank account of a third party.

The third party, while acting on instructions from the Director was said to have transferred the same amount to one Ita Williams Okpa, for onward handing over to the director.

Another illegal transaction of N45 million was made through the same channel for his personal use.

Besides being accused of using shell NGOs to siphon funds from his employer, ICPC said that Solomon Ita was fully involved in the running of his private businesses while still a director with NDDC.

The Commission noted that it was seeking the order of interim forfeiture of the properties to stop the director from using them to fund activities that may make the country unstable and ungovernable.

Meanwhile, the final stock in the filling station at the point of seizure by ICPC has been sold off and proceeds remitted to the ICPC Recovery Account in CBN.