Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has lambasted the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for linking him to a N1bn property located at 43 Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja.
The embattled former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, had accused Falana of buying the building which was one of the properties he helped to seize from pension thieves and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Malami had while testifying before the National Assembly last week, echoed the allegation, saying the property was sold to a ‘Lagos lawyer’.
However, Falana said, “I have decided to take issue with Mr. Malami over his false claim that the EFCC had sold the property in question to me. Contrary to Mr. Malami’s claim, I never bought any property from the EFCC.
“If Mr. Malami had conducted a search on the property in question, he would have found that it was one of the assets used to ‘collaterise’ a loan obtained from Bank PHB by A Group Properties over 10 years ago.
“He would also have found that the property is a subject matter of a suit which is currently pending before the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja. (See Suit No /2015 between Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria v A Group Properties Limited).”
The human rights lawyer added that the suit was instituted by AMCON due to the failure of the company to liquidate the loan.
Falana said in granting the ex parte application, filed by AMCON in the matter, the court ordered an interim forfeiture of the assets of A Group Properties Limited including No. 42 Gana Street, Maitama District, Abuja.
He added, “The said order was granted on November 11, 2015. However, in a bid to pay the loan, A Group Properties Limited decided to sell some of the properties. The sale of the property in question to me was made subject to the setting aside of the order of interim forfeiture which had been obtained by AMCON.
“Up till now, the case has not been concluded as the parties have asked for time to resolve the dispute amicably and file terms of settlement. To that extent, the transaction on the property remains inchoate.
“Although the said order of interim forfeiture was granted in favour of AMCON over two years ago, Mr. Malami has not deemed it fit to disclose to the Federal High Court that the property at 42 Gana Street, Maitama District, Abuja, was recovered by the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform.” Punch