The Nigerian Treasury Gets Boost from EFCC as Judge Orders the Final Forfeiture of Unclaimed N1.37billion to the FG
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has helped the Federal treasury with the total of N1.37 billion, which nobody ventured out to claim since August.
Justice A. Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos requested the last relinquishment of the cash, which was comprised of N1,260,000,000, $327,132.35, £167.85 and €157.90. The cash which was kept at Heritage Bank Plc under the name of Secure Electronics Technology Limited, was seized by the EFCC, following a report from an informant / whistleblower.
The organization in whose ownership the assets were found did not make a case for them and it surrendered them for relinquishment / forfeiture. In an oath in help of the application, the candidate stated that “Heritage Bank did not provide any legitimate explanation for the above transactions (involving the sums) and consequently returned the said money through 16 separate bank drafts issued in favour of the EFCC Recovered Funds Account.”
Justice Obiozor, in his decision on August 15 , 2018, had requested the between time relinquishment of the monies, which were sensibly suspected to be proceeds of unlawful exercises, to the Federal Government. In accordance with the court order of August 15, 2018, the EFCC had published the interim forfeiture order in the Nation newspaper of August 21,2018 for the correspondents or anyone interested in the money to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
At the hearing on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the applicant, through its counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, said the respondent had not shown up to lay claim to the money, despite being served with the earlier interim order of forfeiture, motion for final forfeiture and hearing notices on the action.
He , therefore, urged the Judge to order the funds to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government. In his ruling, Justice Obiozor held that ” the applicant has proved on the balance of probabilities that the funds recovered from the respondents by the applicant were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.” The Judge, therefore, ordered that the various sums of money be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government