N449million: Court grants interim forfeiture of discovered money

Justice R.M. Aikwa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, ordered an interim forfeiture of the sum of N449, 770, 000 (Four Hundred and Forty-Nine Million , Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) recently uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Victoria Island, Lagos. 

The order followed a motion ex-parte filed by Rotimi Oyedepo, a prosecutor with the EFCC 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.

Operatives of the Commission, after receiving a whistle-blower confidential alert, had on Friday, April 7, 2017, uncovered the money in a shop inside the plaza. 

The identities of the owners of the two shops, LS 64 and LS 67 that bore signages of Bureau De Change, could not be immediately known when operatives of the Commission stormed the plaza.

The money, which was stashed in several Ghana Must Go bags, were in N500 and N1000 denominations. They were hidden in one of the shops awaiting conversion into foreign currency.

The case was adjourned to May 19, 2017.

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