The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday asked a Federal High Court, Lagos, to finally forfeit the total sum of N426,704,820.88, linked to one Brigadier-General John Onimisi Ozigi, to the Federal Government of Nigeria, for been proceeds of unlawful act.
The said amount was said to be hidden in a company, Diamond Head Ventures and Development Company Limited’s accounts with numbers 1010399694 and 4010007344, domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc and Polaris Bank respectively.
Justice Sule Hassan, had on November 7, 2018, made order of temporary forfeiture of the said money following an application filed and argued for the order by Mr. Nkereuwen Mark Anana.
In urging the court for the final forfeiture of the Money, EFCC in a motion for the order filed and argued by Mr. Anana, stated that the ordered sought for was pursuant to section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 14, 2006 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
In the originating summon, asked for the order of the court forfeiting the said sum for been reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity. And an order directing the agency to notify the respondents in whose the money sought to be forfeited was found to appear before the court within 14 days of the order why the money will not be finally forfeited to the Federal government.
EFCC also asked the court for an order directing the publication of the court’s orders in any national newspaper.
After the submission of the EFCC lawyer, Justice Hassan order the anti-graft agency to notify the Army General and his company, to appear before the court and show cause why the money should not be finally forfeited to the Federal government of Nigeria within 14 days of the order.
The judge also directed the EFCC to make publication of his interim order of forfeiture of the said money in a national newspaper, for the respondents to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final forfeiture order of the money should not be made in favour of the Federal government of Nigeria.
The EFCC in an affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Clever Ibrahim, stated that the first Respondent is an officer of the Nigerian Army, which the second respondent is a business name owned and incorporated by the first Respondent under the law at the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The deponent also state the first Respondent is a salary earner and a public officer under the rank at a brigadier general with an estimated salary of about N750,000 (seven hundred and fifty thousand naira) per month.
He also stated that intelligence information revealed that monies have been found in account opened In the name at the first and second Respondents that is not reasonably justifiable and commensurate with the first Respondent legitimate income.
And that the money is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of fraud or unlawful activities, that it is the duty at the first Respondent to show cause why the money should not be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that the Commission had already obtained a court order temporary forfeiting these accounts.
He also stated that the order of the court is urgently needed to finally forfeit the money contained in the said account to the Federal Government of Nigeria, that the money found in the account of the Respondent is not in any way commensurate with the legitimate income of the first respondent.
He also averred that the second respondent, Diamond Head Ventures & Development Company, in Skye Bank Plc now Polaris Bank no. 4010007344 with account balance of N235, 710, 411.48 (two hundred and thirty five million, seven hundred and ten thousand, four hundred and eleven Naira, forty eight kobo).
Adding that the account also needed to be forfeited includes, account Name: Diamond Head ventures and Development Company with Zenith Bank Plc no. 1010399694 with account balance of N190,994,409.41 (one hundred and ninety million, nine hundred and ninety four thousand, tour hundred and nine naira, forty one kobo).
He further stated that when the first respondent was confronted with respect to these accounts and he made a statement to the EFCC that he is ready to refund the money to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the said statement is here attached and marked as EXHIBIT EFCC 3.
That the total sum of money sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria is N426,704,820,89 (four hundred and twenty six million, seven hundred and four thousand, eight hundred and twenty Naira, eighty nine kobo).
The deponent stated that it will serve the course of justice to grant this application.
The matter has been adjourned till April 10, for report of compliance.