Court orders final forfeiture of N449m to government, respondent ‘no show’ in court
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Friday, May 19, 2017 secured an order of final forfeiture of the sum of N449, 597, 000. 00 found in one of the shops located at Legico Shopping Plaza, in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Counsel to the EFCC, I. Mohammed had on May 17, 2017 brought an application pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, Section 44 (2)K of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria praying an order of the court to grant the final forfeiture.
The application brought by the Commission prayed for two orders: “a final order of the honourable court forfeiting the total sum of N449, 597, 000.00 (Four Hundred and Forty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand Naira) found by the Commission in possession of the respondent which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity; for such further or other orders as the honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case”.
The respondent, a certain Mohammad Tauheed, who had initially claimed the ownership of the money, did not show up in court.
“I have no option than to order the final forfeiture of the money because neither the respondent, nor any interested party has appeared to claim the money and tell the court why the money should not be forfeited finally. After a careful perusal of the application, I hereby order that the sum of N449, 597, 000.00 (Four Hundred and Forty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand Naira) found in the possession of the respondent which is suspected to be proceeds of crime be finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria”, Justice Aikawa said.