EFCC Moves To Seize Over N500Million Linked To Ex-Bauchi Government Secretary

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According to a report by SaharaReporters, the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday reserved order on the application by the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which prayed for the final forfeiture of the sum of $899,600 (Eight Hundred Ninety-nine Thousand, Six Hundred Dollars), linked to a former Bauchi State Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija.

Justice Zainab Abubakar gave the ruling to grant the prayer of the EFCC which sought the final forfeiture of $899,600 (N514 million at the parallel market rate of N572 to $1) till January 31, 2022.

Justice Folashade Giwa Ogunbanjo had on December 4, 2019, given judgment in the interim forfeiture of the sum upon an ex parte application by the commission, which asked that the money be retrieved from an apartment at Sigma Apartment, 1 Embu Street, off Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse 2, Abuja be confiscated to the Nigerian Government, being suspected proceeds of illegal activities.

In granting the application, the court directed the EFCC to publish the Order of interim forfeiture for any person interested in the funds to show cause why it should not be finally forfeited to the Government.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Ekele Iheanacho, counsel for the EFCC, moved an application for the final forfeiture of the sum. He informed the court that all parties had been served with the processes.

Mr Iheanacho said based on intelligence, the house was searched and a safe was found that contained the money.

Counsel for the respondents, Blessing Anazodo, A.O. Usman and Ademola Adeleye for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respondents respectively, informed the court that they had filed their responses to the application.

The counsel for the 1st respondent urged the court to set aside the interim forfeiture order earlier granted by the court and order the release of the funds to her client, one Abdullahi Sulaiman.

But EFCC’s counsel, Iheanacho told the court that the commission filed a counter-affidavit to the 1st respondent motion. And relying on the allegations contained therein, he urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection.

Meanwhile, counsel for the 2nd and 3rd respondents did not oppose the reliefs sought by the EFCC as it seeks forfeiture of the funds.

After hearing arguments by the parties, Justice Abubakar adjourned the case till January 31, 2022, for judgment.