Court Orders Forfeiture of Assets, Cash Belonging to PEF GM, Others


Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja thursday granted three separate interim forfeiture applications by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), involving monies and assets.

The first involved the sum of $899,600 belonging to one Abdallah Suleiman, which was forfeited to the federal government.
The money was established to be proceeds of fraudulent activities by the EFCC.

The ex parte application for the forfeiture was moved by counsel representing the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, who asserted that the commission received intelligence bordering on money laundering regarding illicit funds stashed in an apartment, located in Wuse, Abuja. He said that based on the intelligence, the house was searched and a safe was found that contained the money.

Similarly, the court also ordered the interim forfeiture of N150 million belonging to Nicholas Mutu Ebomo, who was the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

While moving the application for the forfeiture order, Iheanacho stated that the money was recovered by the EFCC in the course of investigating contracts awarded by the NDDC.

Justice Giwa granted the prayer and directed that the order be published in a national newspaper for persons with interest in the fund to show cause, why the final order of the forfeiture of the funds should not be made in favour of the federal government.
In the same vein, the judge also ordered the interim forfeiture of a plaza and block of flats, belonging to one General Manager, Corporate Services, Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board, Goddy Nnadi.

Justice Giwa gave the order following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC through its counsel, Ekele Iheanacho.

The plaza, a two storey building is located at Plot C46 5221 Road, Block XXIIC Gwarimpa II Estate, Abuja, while the set of four detached bungalows are located at Plot No 77, 525 Road , A Close, Kubwa Estate, Phase IV Abuja.

Iheanacho told the court that the properties are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

In his affidavit, Iheanacho stated that Nnadi received kickbacks from petroleum products dealers and contractors and thereafter acquired the properties to launder the funds received. He further told the court that Nnadi has now voluntarily pledged to forfeit the properties to the federal government and therefore urged the court to grant the application against the properties.

Justice Giwa granted the prayers being sought with the previous conditions attached