Court Orders Final Forfeiture of N13bn Cash Seized from Ikoyi Flat to FG

A FEDERAL Court in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of the N13 billion cash seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from an apartment in Ikoyi, to the federal government.

Justice Muslim Hassan of the federal high court gave today, Tuesday, June 6, saying nobody had come forward to claim ownership.

The judge, however, refused to grant the application of of I. A. Mohammed, counsel to the EFCC, asking the court to award N5million as costs against Olukoya Ogungbeje, a lawyer and human rights activist.

Ogungbeje had filed an application for stay of proceedings pending when Acting President Yemi Osinbajo – led probe panel would submit its report on the matter.

Justice Hassan said: “By any standard this huge sum of money is not expected to be kept without going through the designated financial institution. Also, nobody has shown cause why the money should not be forfeited to the federal government.”

Acting on a tip-off the EFCC had on April 12, found $38 million, £27,000 and N23 million in a private residence on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. It was learned that the house, which belongs to an unnamed Abuja politician.

The discovery of the money generated controversies with Rivers State government claiming ownership of the money, likewise the Nigeria Intelligent Agency, NIA. On April 19, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Ayo Oke, DG, NIA, over the discovery and also ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of the money.

The investigation was also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who headed the panel of investigation, had since last month concluded its investigations but his findings are yet to be public.

—  Jun 6, 2017 @ 14:00 GMT