A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered about N450 found by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in LEGICO Shopping mall, Victoria Island, Lagos, forfeited to the Federal Government.
The EFCC had on April 8 said it uncovered a large sum of suspected laundered money to the tune of N448,850,000 in the Shopping Plaza.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa gave the order Friday when no one came forward to claim the money or explain why the money should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Justice Aikawa had on April 19 ordered an interim forfeiture of the said money and ordered anyone interested in the money to appear before him at the next adjourned date to show reason why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The had also Judge also directed the commission to publish in any national daily for anyone to show cause within 14 days why the order for the final forfeiture should not be granted.
As no came forward, counsel to EFCC Rotimi Oyedepo had filed a motion ex-parte pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, asking the court for a formal forfeiture order.
In his motion on notice at the resumed hearing on Friday counsel to the EFCC urged the court to issue a final order forfeiting the total sum of N449,597,000 to the federal government.
In his ruling, Aikawa stated that “I have perused the motion on notice and as far as my records show, neither the respondent nor any other interested party has filed any affidavit or any other process to show course why the interim order should not be granted.”
“I have no other option but to grant the motion as prayed,” the judge continued.
“I hereby order that the sum of N449,597,000 found in the possession of the respondent which is believed to be proceeds of unlawful activity be finally forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.”