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Court orders temporary forfeiture of N250m ‘diverted’ from NDDC

Court orders temporary forfeiture of N250m ‘diverted’ from NDDC
June 25
14:42 2020

A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N250 million allegedly diverted from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

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In a ruling on Wednesday, Rilwan Aikawa, the judge, ordered that the money be forfeited to the federal government.

The order followed an ex parte application filed by Usman Buhari, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement by Dele Oyewale, head, media and publicity at the EFCC, the court also ordered the publication of the interim forfeiture so that anyone interested in the money can show cause why a final forfeiture should not be granted.

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“Buhari, in the application, stated that the money had been illegally diverted from the NDDC, through a contract awarded by the federal government of Nigeria,” the statement read.

“Buhari also prayed for an order of the court directing the publication of the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper for anyone interested in the funds to show cause within 14 days why a final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the federal government.

“Justice Aikawa, in a short ruling, granted all the reliefs sought by the EFCC and ordered the forfeiture of the money.”

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The matter has been adjourned to July 9, 2020 for continuation.

In October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic probe of the NDDC’s activities from 2001 to 2019.

On May 5, the senate passed a resolution to probe the alleged mismanagement of N40 billion by the interim management committee of the NDDC.

In turn, the commission accused members of the national assembly of inserting over 500 non-existent projects into its 2019 budget.

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