The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized a filling station and a shopping complex from a man who described himself as a building engineer, Abdullahi Rilwan, for failing to explain where he got the money to buy the properties.
The EFCC Act Section 71 (b) gives the commission the power to commence investigations into the property of any person if it appears to the EFCC that the person’s lifestyle and extent of properties are not justified by law.
The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday, that Rilwan was also arrested for offences bordering on operating a land racketeering syndicate, criminal conspiracy, unlawful possession of classified documents, obtaining by false pretences and money laundering.
According to the commission, the suspect was first accosted in the Kuje Area Council of Abuja during a separate investigation into the $2.1bn arms procurement fraud.
Detectives were said to have visited the area to verify the ownership of several properties suspected to be proceeds of money laundering.
In the course of investigating the ownership of a filling station and a shopping complex both still under construction, located along Pegi Road in the Kuje Area Council, operatives gathered that Rilwan was in charge of the construction work.
The statement added, “Rilwan, who was subsequently engaged, denied ownership of the station but confirmed he was the engineer in charge of the construction work. He admitted to being the owner of the shopping complex.
“He also told operatives that he was the owner of two companies, Kaibo Oil and Gas and Kaibo Properties, but could not account for his source of wealth.
“A visit to his office, however, revealed that he was involved in several shady and suspicious business deals.”
It was learnt that the revelation made EFCC operatives to beam its searchlight on Rilwan’s business activities.
Subsequently, on October 31, a search and arrest warrant was executed at his Kuje residence.
The statement added, “The search unearthed several implicating documents in his custody, many of which he uses to sell plots of land. Properties recovered from his residence in Kuje included letter-heads in the name of Kuje Area Council, allocating plots of land, an ‘Irrevocable Power of Attorney’ in favour of Air Commodore Bassey Inyang, a ‘Right of Occupancy’ document granted to Henryville Farms, Abuja, among other implicating documents.
“The filling station and the complex are currently under investigation and he would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”