ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of N725 million and property, allegedly diverted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The property is located in the Banana Island area of Ikoyi, Lagos State.
Justice Tijjani Ringim who gave the order said both are to be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The order came following an ex parte application filed and argued by Bilkisu Buhari, a counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to Channels Television, the application was brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006 and Section 44(2b) of the 1999 Constitution.
Buhari told the court that the sum of N725.3 million was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity, while the property, Plot J 37A 218 Close, 2nd Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi was also reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.
The EFCC linked the money and property to a former NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Also, Buhari prayed for an order directing the EFCC to publish the interim order in a national newspaper: “for anyone interested in the properties sought to be forfeited to appear before the honourable court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Granting the application, Justice Ringim said: “I have listened to the submission of counsel and perused the affidavit in support of the application together with exhibits. I find merit in this statutory application and same is granted as prayed.”