A former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, and his wife alleged on Wednesday that an FCT High Court was misled into granting an order to temporarily forfeit N2.4 billion alleged to belong to them.
Justice O. A. Adeniji of an FCT High Court had ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum, following an ex-parte application by the by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
Reacting to the order of temporary forfeiture, Haruna and his wife Eileen, through their Counsel, Mr Ade Adedeji (SAN), claimed that the ICPC obtained the order by deception and suppression of facts.
The couple claimed that they had no funds in Stanbic IBTC Bank, which is one of the bank accounts linked to them, which the ICPC claimed contained some millions in foreign and local currencies linked to them.
In a statement issued through Adedeji, the couple also noted that “the aggregate sum in the other banks are far less” than what was announced by the anti-graft agency.
“We have read publications in newspapers on Tuesday and we confirm that the order obtained by ICPC, which we have since confirmed through a search of the records of court, is a calculated scheme by ICPC to pervert justice.
“Indeed, we can confirm that on July 4, 2019, Blaid Group and Mrs Momoh obtained judgment at the Federal High Court, whose judgment permanently settled issues between parties in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/132/2019.
“As it is also the right of parties, ICPC had appealed the judgment through filing of notice of appeal.
“But rather than prosecute their appeal, they surreptitiously approached the FCT High Court and misled the court as if the appeal never existed.
“Without disclosing to the new court that there was judgment of the Federal High Court against them, they moved the court ex-parte to grant an order of temporary forfeiture.”
The Momohs noted in their statement that the alleged actions of the ICPC is “a travesty of justice, a gross abuse of process of court and of power granted them under their enabling law”.
The duo alleged that the ICPC failed to inform the judge that two other Federal High Courts in 2017 and July 2019, had ruled that the source of the funds was not illicit.
The Momohs said they were taking immediate steps to vacate the court order and to file petitions against the ICPC counsel, who was allegedly involved in the misrepresentation of the facts to the court.
The ICPC had received the court order on Nov. 4, to recover N2.4 billion alongside some landed properties allegedly linked to Momoh.
According to the commission, the funds included foreign and local currencies, stashed in multiple accounts in four different banks as well as five landed properties located in different parts of the Abuja metropolis.
The ICPC said it had uncovered four bank accounts owned by Eileen Momoh with the United Bank for Africa, where N469.2 million (in foreign and local currencies) was lodged.
Also linked to Eileen were two other accounts with Union Bank, containing $1.6 million and N496 million, respectively.
The ICPC alleged that the ex-PPMC chief perpetrated the fraud through three firms namely, Multi-Functions Nigeria Ltd., Blaid Property Ltd. and Blaid Construction Ltd.
Adeniyi, while granting the interim forfeiture had ruled that the money be placed in an interest-yielding escrow accounts in the name of the ICPC.