The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize landed property and cash totalling N120,546, 042.02 and $228, 428.16 allegedly linked to a retired Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officer, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Salu Atawodi, and his wife, Winnie.
Justice Anwuli Chikere gave the interim forfeiture order in a ruling in an ex-parte motion argued by EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho.
The judge ordered the commission to publicize the order of interim forfeiture to enable anybody interested in the affected property to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the property and fund should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge, therefore, adjourned the case till June 30 for mention.
The EFCC, in a supporting affidavit, said the N120, 546, 042.02 and $228, 428.16 were currently standing as an investment in favour of the 2nd respondent (Winnie) with an investment firm – ARM Investment Managers.
The EFCC said it was investigating the allegation of public funds diversion perpetrated while Atawodi was the Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS)
The commission also gave details of how the retired NAF chief allegedly siphoned state’s funds, using his wife, who was a manager with Union Bank of Nigeria Plc between 1982 and 2015.
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