Justice Chukwujeku Aneke of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, ordered the interim forfeiture of N827 million recovered from a businessman, Matthew Edevbie, to the Federal Government.
Justice Aneke gave the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Aneke directed the EFCC to publish the order in any national daily for any interested party to appear before the court within 14 days and show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government.
The court fixed June 29 for parties to show cause.
The EFCC through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the court that Edevbie owned a firm, Flank Power Ltd.
He said that the forfeited sum, comprising N616.6million and N211 million was deposited in Flank Power Ltd’s bank account between February 11 and 19.
According to the commission, the sum is ‘reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act, 2006 and Section 44(2)b of the 1999 Constitution.
EFCC said that if the application ‘was not heard and determined expeditiously, the monies housed in the said bank account sought to be temporarily forfeited will be dissipated.’
The commission tendered an affidavit of urgency in support of the motion ex parte sworn to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Mr Chidi Nweke.
Nweke identified himself as one ‘of the operatives of the EFCC assigned to investigate the intelligence report received’ against Edevbie.
He said: ‘The said intelligence was investigated, traced to and recovered from Edevbie, who is the owner of Flank Power Resources.
‘We traced some of these monies to the bank account of Flank Power Resources Ltd containing monies sought to be forfeited to the federal government,” he said.