Court to rule on Lagos director of finances’ alleged N28.5m fraud, houses on Jan. 31

Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court, has fixed January 31, either to final forfeit to the federal government of Nigeria, the sum of N28.5 million, and some houses owned by a director of Finance in the Department of Works, or to the Lagos State government, or to return it back to the Director of Finance.

The judge fixed the date, after listened to all parties in the matter.

Justice Aikawa had on December 7, 2017, ordered 
that the sum of N28.5 million, found in the account of a Director of Account, Lagos State Ministry of Public Works Corporation, Anifowoshe Muhammed Jamiu Alade, be temporary forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria, for being proceeds of unlawful activities.

Justice Aikawa made the order while granting an Ex-parte application filed before the court by the lawyers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, and argued by Muhammad Idris, against the Director of Account.
 
Apart from the said sum, the judge also ordered that six flats of three bedroom, another six flats of two bedroom, and six flats of 1 bedroom, located at Adewale Osiyeku Street, Offin-Ile Igbogbo-Ikorodu, Lagos: and four flats of three Bedroom duplex, located at 6, Tunde Gabby Close, Dopemu Area Pako Bus Stop Agege, Lagos, belonging to the Director of Account, be temporary forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria.

The court also ordered interim  forfeiture a semi-detached three bedroom flat, and one unit of three bedroom terrance at Cranbel Court, Citiview Estate Arepo, Ogun State, and a  plot of land situated at Queen’s Garden Estate off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, to the Federal Government of Nigeria, for also being proceeds of unlawful activities.

After granting the request, the judge however, ordered the EFCC to publish the order granted in a National newspaper notifying the respondent in whose possession the properties sought to be forfeited are found and recovered to appear before the Court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, lawyer counsel the Director of Accounts, Mr. Wole Okeniile argued that  EFCC has not been able to proof their allegations, pointing out that he who alleges must proof with fact and not “reasonable suspected” as it was used in their ex-parte.

Okeniile further stated that the land of the property which the EFCC seek to be forfeited to the Federal government was purchased in the year 2000, at N50, 000, saying that it for the EFCC to proof that such property was acquired with a proceeds of unlawful activities.

He also submitted that the EFCC must able to proof the allegation that the sum of N106.095 million and N223 million to the Director’s account, or Maj Anny International Limited’s account

He said the body of proof is on the EFCC to show that the properties sought to be forfeited to the  federal government is discharged,  not  for the EFCC dumping the documents on the court.

He therefore urged the court to discountance EFCC application against his client, and dismiss same accordingly.

Also appearing in the matter, 
was Mr. Saheed Quadri, a Director of Civil Litigation, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, who urged the court to forfeit the properties sought to be forfeited to the Lagos State government not to the federal government, saying that it was the funds of Lagos state were allegedly diverted.

Responding , counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo said in view of the failure of the respondent’s to filed a counter affidavit why the said sum and properties should not be forfeited to Federal Government, Federal government, all facts deposed to in support of their motion had deem to have been admitted by the respondent.

He therefore urged the court to grant the application for the final forfeiture of the sum and the properties.

On the submission of the lawyer to the Lagos state government, Oyedepo pleaded with the court to forfeit the said sum and properties to the Federal government of Nigeria, saying that the State and Federal government will know how to settle it among themselve. 

Justice Aikawa after listened to the submissions of all parties, adjourned till January 31, for ruling. 

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