Armsgate: Again, court orders interim forfeiture of N263m
A federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice I. E. Ekwo, has ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of N263million recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from one of the prosecution witnesses in the N3.9 billion fraud trial of late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
Badeh, a four-star flag officer of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), who served as the 18th Chief of Air Staff and the 15th Chief of Defence Staff, was recently killed in an ambush close to Abuja.
Acting spokesman of the commission, Tony Orilade, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the EFCC had, through an ex-parte application filed on December 3, this year, prayed the court to grant the interim forfeiture of the said money, believed to be proceeds from illegal transactions linked to the funds meant for purchase of arms for the military, and that the application was subject to the provisions of Section 29 (b) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
Orilade disclosed that the money had been deposited in the safe custody of the EFCC Recovery Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In granting the order on December 18, Justice Ekwo ruled that “a publication of the notice is to be simultaneously made by EFCC in a national newspaper and the EFCC website; inviting all persons/bodies who may have interest in the said sum to show cause why the final order of forfeiture in respect of the sum of N263, 000, 000 (Two Hundred and Sixty Three Million Naira) should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”