By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
Seven years after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) handed over seized N2.8billion Chelsea Hotel to Bayelsa State Government, the edifice is rotting in Abuja owing to neglect.
The hotel was seized from the first Civilian Governor of the state, the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by the Ecnonmic Financial and other Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a court order.
A Federal High Court, Lagos in 2007 ordered the forfeiture of the N2.8billion hotel by Alamieyeseigha after the ex-governor was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced for financial crimes.
Apart from the hotel, the EFCC gathered and sold other Alamieyeseigha assets in Nigeria and realized is N3, 128, 230, 294.83billion; $441,000; E7, 000 and £2,000.
All the money had been remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria, in accordance with law, for onward delivery to the Government of Bayelsa State as ordered by the Court.
But due to its viability as an alternative source of revenue, a former Chairman of EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri on September 7, 2009 handed over Chelsea Hotel to ex-Governor Timipreye Sylva in Abuja.
But seven years after the asset was returned to the state government, the hotel is being inhabited by miscreants, addicts, men of the underworld, rodents and reptiles.