Final forfeiture has finally been granted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), concerning the huge sum of money found in a Bureau De Change shop on Victoria Island, Lagos
A Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Rilwan Aikawa, ordered the total forfeiture of the N449.6million.
The money is believed to have been in abandoned in a Bureau De Change shop on Victoria Island, Lagos
The forfeiture followed an application by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), I. Mohammed, on May 17, which he brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, Section 44 (2)K of the 1999 constitution.
It should be noted that the court had on April 19, last month, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the money based on an ex-parte application by the EFCC.
An EFCC Operative, Moses Awolusi, told the court that Shop LS64 at Legico Shopping Plaza have not been opened for two years. The money was found on April 7 in several sacks popular called “Ghana must go”.
They recovered the money following intelligence about one Mohammed Tauheed, who allegedly connived with the shop’s owner to launder the money, according to Awolusi.
Idris Mohammed, who is EFCC’s lawyer, said that the temporary forfeiture order was advertised on May 11 and that Tauheed was also served with the motion.
Hence he urged the judge to order the final forfeiture of the money since nobody has come forward to claim the money.
While granting the application for the forfeiture, Justice Aikawa stated, “This court ordered, among others, the respondent (Tauheed) and any other interested party to show cause, within 14 days, why the interim forfeiture of N449,597,000 should not be made final.
“As far as my record shows, neither the respondent nor any other interested party has filed any affidavit or any other process to show cause why the interim order should not be made final.
“In the instant case, the respondent has, additionally, not filed any process in response to the motion on notice.
“In the circumstances, I have no option, but to grant the application as prayed.
“Accordingly, I hereby order that the sum of N449,597,000 found in possession of the respondent, which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity, be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.” Justice Aikawa concluded.