Court to determine final forfeiture of N2.2bn linked to Nigeria’s ex-air force chief
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday reserved ruling until December 3, on a motion seeking final forfeiture to the federal government of the sum of N2.2 billion recovered from a former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun reserved the date for ruling, after listening to arguments from counsel to parties in the motion on notice
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had issued an interim order of forfeiture of the sum, on June 14, following an exparte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Joined as respondents in the suit are Mr Amosu, and a company, Solomon Enterprises Ltd.
The Commission had argued that the sums were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
Justice Olatoregun had also issued an interim order for a temporary forfeiture of N190 million recovered from a former Air Force Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.
The court had further ordered a temporary forfeiture of N101 million recovered from Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to Amosu.
The judge had then directed the EFCC to publish the interim orders in two national dailies, for the respondents or any interested party, to show cause why a final order of forfeiture should not be made.
On Monday, Rotimi Oyedepo appeared for the EFCC, while Norrison Quakers (SAN) announced appearance for an interested party in the suit (Jacob Adigun).
Bolaji Ayorinde announced appearance for the first and second respondent.
Moving his motion for final order, EFCC counsel, Mr Oyedepo, informed the court that his motion was dated October 24, seeking a court’s order for final forfeiture of the sum.
He said that his application was supported by an affidavit deposed to by one Tosin Owobo, and adopted same, urging the court to order a final forfeiture of the sum.
Arguing his motion further, Mr Oyedepo told the court that intelligence reports revealed that the respondent stacked crime proceeds in his account, and had directed his aide to remove the sum $10.5 million.
He said that the respondents had not been able to show how they legitimately earned these sums of money, which the EFCC is seeking to be permanently forfeited to the Government.
He argued that the law empowers the EFCC to bring an application for forfeiture of funds, where it reasonably suspects same to be proceeds of crime or an unlawful act, adding that its present motion was brought on that premise.