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Court orders forfeiture of recovered N15bn to FG

Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N15 billion which was recovered…

Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N15 billion which was recovered by the Economic and financial crimes commission(EFFC) from an apartment in Ikoyi area of Lagos. 

The EFCC had on Wednesday recovered the money which included $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 at an apartment, located at flat 7B, No. 13 Osborne road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi. 

Justice Hassan gave the order follows an ex parte application brought before him yesterday afternoon  by the EFCC. 

While moving the application, EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that no one had come forward to claim the money, saying that the staff of one AM Facilities managing the apartment where the huge sums were found could not provide the anti-graft agency with information on the possible owner of the money.

Oyedepo, urged the court to exercise the power conferred on him by Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other related Offence Act to order the interim forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.

“For security reasons and because of the volume, we did not want to bring the money before my lord but we have registered it as an exhibit with the exhibit keeper and the evidence is contained in Exhibit EFCC 04. I therefore, humbly and most respectful urge my lord to forfeit this money to the Federal Government pending anyone has the mind to come and claim the money,” Oyedepo said. 

In a short ruling, Justice Hassan granted the request by the EFCC. He also granted the EFCC’s prayer to advertise or publish the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper.

The judge adjourned till May 5, 2017 for person or persons to come before him to give reasons the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

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