by Jane osamor
Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday granted an order of interim forfeiture of fraudulent money and property linked to the former Director-General of the agency, Dr Patrick Akpobolokemi.
The money totalling N725,345,897.77 and property, located at Plot J 37A 218 Close, 2nd Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, were allegedly diverted from NIMASA by Akpobolokemi.
The judge granted the order following a motion ex parte filed and argued by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission counsel, Bilkisu Buhari.
Buhari informed the court that the sum was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity, while the property was reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity.
Buhari also begged 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 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.”
While 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.”