Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Cash Discovered At Ikoyi Flat
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted the final forfeiture of the cash seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from an apartment in Ikoyi apartment, to the Federal Government.
Following a whistle-blower alert, the EFCC had stormed Flat 7b, No. 13, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos, in April where it uncovered the sums of $43,449,947; £27,800 and N23,218,000.
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Following the several controversies trailing the money, the Federal High Court in Lagos on April 13 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the fund to the FG until May 5, for any interested party in the funds to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited.
Despite the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, who came up to claim the funds saying it belonged to his agency, the anti-graft agency maintained no one has come up to claim the money.
Following the claims by Mr. Oke, President Mohammadu Buhari ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter.
The investigation was to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.
The President directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, also claimed ownership of the money. According to him, investigations by the state government revealed that the money was a proceed from the sale of gas turbines by the immediate past Governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi.
Governor Wike had threatened that failure to return the money will lead to the state government taking legal measures to ensure that it gets back her stolen resources.
In another sitting, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has discharged and acquitted the former Chairman of Presidential Committee on Marine Safety, Air Vice Marshal Salihu Atawodi.
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Atawodi was charged for alleged criminal diversion of 600 million Naira meant for the purchase of gunboats to fight illegal oil bunkering.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Tani Hassan-Yusuf, today the Court dismissed the judgment of an Abuja High Court which earlier asked AVM Atawodi to open his defense.