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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Seized Ikoyi N13BN: Court orders permanent forfeiture of seized Ikoyi N13bn cash

Court orders permanent forfeiture of seized Ikoyi N13bn cash

The federal high court in Lagos, has ordered the final forfeiture of the monies found at an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos to the federal government.
The monies $43 million USD;  27,800 pounds and N23 Million were found in April by the  EFCC.

The funds had been stashed in iron cabinets and ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags in the apartment before they were discovered and recovered on April 11, 2017 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The anti-graft agency had earlier on April 13, 2017 obtained an interim court order temporarily forfeiting the funds to the Federal Government.
Justice Muslim Hassan, who granted the interim order, had given 14 days for anyone interested in the funds to appear before him to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
But on May 5, 2017 when the matter came up, no one came before the judge to claim the money.
However, a private legal practitioner, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, appeared before the judge with an application, urging the judge to suspend the final forfeiture proceedings pending when a three-man panel constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari in relation to the funds would submit its report.

The panel, headed by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was to probe the claim and counter-claim of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency and Rivers State Government to the funds.
But the EFCC had opposed Ogungbeje’s application and urged  Justice Hassan to dismiss it and go ahead with the forfeiture proceedings.
Ruling on Tuesday, Justice Hassan upheld the EFCC’s submission and dismissed Ogungbeje’s application for lacking in merit.
The judge described the application as totally strange, noting that having not appealed against the interim forfeiture order, Ogungbeje had no right to seek a stay of proceedings in the case.
The judge, who noted that Ogungbeje was not a party in the suit filed by the EFCC, described the lawyer as a meddlesome interloper and a busybody, adding that his application was strange to law.

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