A Federal High Court in Abuja has held that there was no case before it against Major General Jafaru Mohammed over an alleged money laundering forfeiture case in respect of properties valued at N10.9bn brought against three companies.
It was reported in mid-February that the property were linked to the senior army officer.
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But in court papers seen by Daily Trust, Justice Nkeonye Maha in her judgment dated February 14, while ordering the forfeiture of 28 properties linked to Marhaba Event Place Limited, Aflac Plastics Limited, and Atlasfield Integrated Limited, said Mohammed was not on trial.
The EFCC had, in an ex parte order of May 13, 2020, applied for an interim forfeiture of the properties for allegedly being proceeds of an unlawful act.
But before the final forfeiture application was made, Marhaba Event Place Limited and the two other firms, through their lawyer, M. A. Belgore, filed a preliminary objection contending that under Section 130(1) and 170(1) (2) of the Armed Forces Act, the court lacked jurisdiction to preside over a matter in which the name of Brig. Gen Jafaru Mohammed was mentioned as being a serving member of the armed forces.
Justice Maha agreed with the EFCC counsel, C.O. Ugwu Esq, that Section 17(1) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act that forfeiture of assets shall not be based on a conviction for an offence, adding that the general is not the subject before the court but properties listed in the case.
“From the records before me, I find that the respondent (that is, EFCC) filed an ex parte application alleging that one General Aminu Kano (rtd) and his proxies/associates acquired some assets and properties situated in different parts of Nigeria and those properties are proceeds of unlawful activity.
“I observed that the name of Gen. Jafaru Mohammed was never mentioned in the originating ex parte application. The respondent did not rebut this fact.”