Court orders forfeiture of assets allegedly linked to Oyo-Ita
Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered permanent forfeiture of assets said to have been returned by a suspect allegedly connected to the suspended Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.The order was given following an application for permanent forfeiture by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) M. S. Abubakar.
Oyo-Ita, who was accused of corruption and breach of trust, is currently under indefinite suspension pending the outcome of investigation of the allegations against her.
EFCC’s counsel, Abubakar, had informed the court that between the last adjournment on June 28, when the court granted an ex-parte application for the interim forfeiture of the assets and now, no party has come forward to lay claim to the funds. He added that the suspect even when served with the order of interim forfeiture did not respond.
According to him, the funds were voluntarily returned to the Commission as proceeds of crime.Since there was no claim to the funds, the anti-graft agency’s lawyer therefore prayed the court to make the order permanent, adding that the money was paid into an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) account immediately it was returned by the suspect.
In a short ruling, Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa granted the request of the Commission and ordered for the permanent forfeiture of the said assets.However, the details of the case were not read out in the open court when the judge made the order of final forfeiture of the monetary assets to the Federal Government.