Friday, December 8, 2017

Court orders final forfeiture of N449m discovered in bureau de change

Court orders final forfeiture of N449m discovered in bureau de change
May 19
11:54 2017

A federal high court in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of N449 discovered in an abandoned bureau de change at Victoria Island to the government.

Rilwan Aikawa, a judge, gave this order following an ex-parte application filed by Rotimi Oyedepo on behalf of the federal government. The application was unchallenged; hence the judge’s decision.

“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,” Aikawa said.

“I have no other option but to grant the motion as prayed.”

“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.”‎

On April 7, Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), disclosed in a statement that the agency discovered the money after a tip-off from a whistleblower.

He said the money, which was stashed in several ‘Ghana-Must-Go bags’, were in N500 and N1000 denominations.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Office, in the evening of Friday, April 7, 2017 uncovered yet another large sum of suspected laundered money to the tune of N448,850,000 (Four hundred and forty-eight million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos,” the statement had read.

The anti-graft agency had subsequently announced a manhunt for the owner of discovered sum.

The agency said that it was making efforts to reach the owner of the complex, with a view to knowing who rented the shop where the money was found.

The stash was found weeks after the EFCC had discovered N49 million hidden in five sacks at the Kaduna international airport.

The sacks contained crispy naira notes of N200 denomination in 20 bundles, totaling forty million naira and N50 denomination in 180 bundles, totaling nine million naira.

The largest stash of cash discovered by the EFCC came in April when the agency found $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m in a house in Ikoyi, Lagos, through the help of a whistleblower.

Thereafter, the sums were claimed by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), stating that they were approved by former president Goodluck Jonathan for a covert project.


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