Court orders forfeiture of $16,500, N127m linked to ex NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi

Justice Kehinde Ogundare of a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos has ordered final forfeiture of the sum of $16,500 and N127 million, to the Federal government, fraudulently diverted from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

Justice Ogundare ordered the final forfeited the monies on Tuesday, sequel to a motion filed and argued by the counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sulaiman Sulaiman.

The funds, according to the EFCC, were said to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

The judge had May 23, 2024, ordered the interim forfeiture of the monies, while granting an Exparte motion, brought before the court pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14. 2006; and Section 44 (2)(B) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The court, after forfeited the monies in the interim on May 23, 2024, had directed the EFCC to publish the order in a national newspaper, to show cause, while the monies should not be finally forfeited.

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However, at the resumed hearing of the final forfeiture of the money on Tuesday, the EFCC lawyer, Suleiman, informed the court that “pursuant to your lordship order made on May 23, 2024, that we should publish the order. The publication of the order was made on June 6, 2024.

“The said application is supported by 22 paragraphs deposed to by Oghare Ogbole, and investigator with the EFCC.

“The application is accompanying with two exhibits, the Interim order of the court and Punch publication of June 26, 2024. And it’s supported with written address.

“We most respectively adopt same and urge the court to grant the relief sought.”

Justice Ogundare after listening to the EFCC lawyer held that “order granted as prayed.”

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