Court orders the forfeiture of N725 million in property connected to ex-NIMASA DG

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On Monday, Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court in Lagos issued an interim forfeiture order for N725,345,897.77 and Plot J 37A 218 Close, 2nd Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, which were allegedly diverted from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

The order was given after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s counsel, Bilkisu Buhari, filed and argued an ex parte motion.

Buhari told the court that the sum was reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of illegal activity, and the property was reasonably suspected to have been purchased with the proceeds of illegal activity.

The EFCC connected the money and property to Dr Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former NIMASA Director-General.

Buhari also requested that the EFCC publish the interim order in a national newspaper, and that “anyone interested in the properties sought to be forfeited appear before the court within 14 days to show cause why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

“I have listened to counsel’s submission and perused the affidavit in support of the application together with exhibits,” Justice Ringim said in granting the application.

“I find merit in this statutory application and same is granted as prayed.”

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