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Deputy Senate president, Ekweremadu to face trial over ‘hidden assets’ in UAE, UK, US

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Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, will be charged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) next week by the office of the attorney-general of the Federation (AGF), Senator Ekweremadu will be arraigned for “false declaration of assets”, the same charge slammed against Senate President Bukola Saraki whose case was adjourned indefinitely on Thursday by the tribunal.

Deputy Senate president Ekweremadu to face trial over ‘hidden assets’ in UAE UK US Lailasnews

Ekweremadu is accused of having assets in United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America which he allegedly did not disclose in his declarations to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Meanwhile, officials of the ministry of justice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are expected to leave for the UAE on Monday to seek the forfeiture of eight properties allegedly linked to Ekweremadu.

The forfeiture is being pursued under a bilateral agreement reached between the two countries after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015.

Sahara Reporters, the whistle-blowing website, had reported that Nigeria requested for information on Ekweremadu’s assets relying on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI), a multi-jurisdictional instrument for exposing hidden assets and incomes.

Nigeria is a signatory to AEoI.

According to the website, two “undeclared” properties were also traced to Ekweremadu in the UK and three in the US — bringing to a total of 13.

Ekweremadu, a senator elected on the platform of PDP since 2003, caused an upset in 2015 when he was elected deputy senate president in an APC-dominated chamber.

Saraki, although a member of APC, was elected Senate president against the wishes of the party hierarchy.

If found guilty, both men could lose their positions and could also be banned from holding public office for up to 10 years.

Mr. Ekweremadu’s properties in the UAE were exposed by a whistleblower. In the country, the Deputy Senate President owns eight properties. Among these are Apartments EGG1/1/114 and EGG1/1/115 Emirates Garden, Apartment DFB/12/B 1204 Park Towers, Flat 3604, MAG214 and Villa No.148, MAEEN1 The Lakes, Emirate Hills. The others are Boulevard 3901, two flats of Burij Side Boulevard, The Signature; and Room 1903, Hotel Downtown.

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