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Court refuses to vacate interim forfeiture order over $2.8m alleged fraud


[FILE PHOTO] court

Justice A.T. Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Thursday, January 4, 2019 refused to vacate the interim forfeiture order it granted on December 28, 2018 in respect of $2.8 million.

Based on intelligence report, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Enugu Zonal Office had on Thursday, December 20, 2018, seized the money at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, from Ighoh Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel, who were suspected of money laundering.

While filing application for interim forfeiture on December 24, 2018, the commission also filed an affidavit of urgency for the matter to be heard in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.


However, Justice Mohammed had on December 28, 2018, ruled in favour of EFCC, as the court granted the order of interim forfeiture, pending the determination of the case.

EFCC’s Acting Spokesman, Tony Orilade, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said at the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, January 4, 2019, Charles Ajuya (SAN) appeared for the respondents and prayed the court to vacate the interim order.

Orilade said EFCC’s counsel, Anasoh Onyedikachi Henry, who filed an eight-paragraph affidavit of facts, stated the progress made in the investigation, adding that he also presented the newspaper publication in respect of the court order.

He further argued that the defence erred to have asked for vacation of the court order since the ex parte motion was still subsisting.

Orilade further explained that in his ruling, the judge upheld the prosecution’s argument, saying that since the publication of the interim forfeiture order was already a public knowledge, the defence should be prepared to prove their case rather than seek vacation of the order.

He, however, directed that since court vacation ended on January 4, 2019, “the case file is hereby transferred to Enugu Division for continuation of the matter.”

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