Ade Adesomoju,, Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday arraigned a federal civil servant, Mr. Ibrahim Tumsah and his brother, Mr. Tijani Tumsah, before the Federal High Court in Abuja with failure to declare their assets to the Chief Okoi Obono-Obla-led Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property.
Ibrahim is the Director of Finance and Account in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, while his brother, Tijani, is a member of the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative and a former Interim National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress.
The Federal Government had on January 18, 2018 filed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/4/2018 containing two counts of failure of the defendants to declare their assets “without reasonable excuse and upon the notice to declare” them before the panel.
Earlier on December 6, 2017, Justice Muawiyah Idris of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, had ordered hat 86 luxury vehicles together with four houses and a quarry plant in Abuja, all of which the panel allegedly seized from the two defendants.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the seized 86 vehicles, 23 of which were said to be armoured, were brand new.
The court’s forfeiture orders also affected four houses, two of which were located in Wuse II, one in Wuse Zone 7, and the other in Jabi, all in Abuja.
The two brothers pleaded not guilty to the two counts when read to them before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.
The offences were said to be contrary to and punishable under section 3(3)(1)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provision) Act 2004.
Their lawyers, Abdul Mohammed (for Ibrahim) and Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN) (for Tijani), applied for their clients’ bail. The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), did not oppose the bail application.
The judge subsequently granted bail to the two defendants by adopting the bail conditions agreed upon by the prosecution and the defence.
Part of the conditions was a bail sum of N20m.