Court orders interim forfeiture of N449.77m recovered by EFCC in a shop

  • As Buhari sets to extend whistle-blowing policy to arms possession

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, ordered an interim forfeiture of  N449. 77milion recently uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Trial judge in the matter is Justice R.M. Aikwa.

The order followed an ex-parte application by Rotimi Oyedepo, an EFCC prosecutor, pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006.

In his ruling, Justice Aikawa ordered anyone interested in the money to appear before him at the next adjourned date to show reason why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge also directed the commission to publish in any national daily for anyone to show cause within 14 days why the order for the final forfeiture should not be granted.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari is considering suggestions to extend the whistle-blowing policy to illegal weapons’ possession by politicians and other public figures.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, told State House reporters on Wednesday that this was aimed at exposing those keeping deadly arms for ‘communal violence and sinister political motives’.

He said: “Yes, it is true; the Presidency has received suggestions that call for the whistle blower policy to be extended to the possession of illegal weapons by powerful individuals in the country. The government will look at all that and make a pronouncement. Nigerians would be encouraged to expose the presence of illegal weapons in the homes of powerful politicians and other public figures, who may use those deadly arms for sinister political agenda.”

Shehu quoted Buhari as commending Nigerians for their support and assuring that all recovered funds would be applied to citizens’ welfare and happiness, adding that no country can achieve progress with corruption.

He disclosed that the Presidency had begun efforts towards strengthening the whistle-blowing policy following breakthroughs in the war against corruption and unaccounted wealth.

Vanguard with additional report from Citizen