A Lagos Federal High Court has ordered that the sum of N449, 750,000 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it found in an abandoned Bureau de Change shop in Victoria Island to be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
The court presided over by Justice Rilawan Aikawa gave the order on Wednesday sequel to an ex parte application brought before the court by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency investigator, Moses Awolusi, had claimed in the affidavit filed before the judge that the shop numbered LS64 and located at Legico Shopping Plaza, on Victoria Island, Lagos had not been opened for two years.
He said following intelligence information the commission received while investigating one Mohammed Tauheed, it made the discovery on April 7, 2017 in different “Ghana Must Go” sacks.
The EFCC investigator told the court that Tauheed allegedly conspired with the owner of the abandoned shop to launder the money.
Awolusi further said that Tauheed was earlier brought to the EFCC office by the chairman and vice-chairman of Legico shopping Plaza, Mr. Sulaiman Daba and Alhaji Ishaq Ayandiran, respectively.
He explained that during the visit, Tauheed told the anti-graft agency that he received the money in cash from a serving government official, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons.
According to Awolusi, Tauheed had also during the visit in the presence of his lawyer, agreed to return the money to the Federal Government, which is the rightful owner of the funds strongly suspected to be proceeds of criminal activities of the unnamed serving government official.
Consequently, Justice Aikawa ordered that the N449,750,000 be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government and asked the EFCC to advertise the order in a national newspaper.
He gave 14 days for any interested party to appear in court to give reasons why the money must not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government and adjourned the matter till May 19, 2017.
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