A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the final forfeiture of the $899,600 [N500m] recovered from an Abuja apartment allegedly occupied by a former Secretary to the Bauchi State Government, Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija.
In a statement by the Head, Media and Publicity, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, the ruling of the final forfeiture came after the agency was able to prove that the money was a proceed of crime.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Zainab Abubakar found that Abdallah Suleiman, who claimed to own the funds, failed to establish credible evidence for his claim.
Justice Zainab maintained that he failed to supply credible evidence to sustain his claim that he engaged in chartering of aircraft through his company, Montes Auri Ltd and that the money was received on behalf of a company.
The judge however discharged Dandija and Sigma Apartment as the EFCC established no cause of action against them.
In the statement titled, ‘Court Orders Final Forfeiture of N500m Linked To Ex-Bauchi SSG’, the court granted the application of the EFCC for the final forfeiture of the amount linked to the former Bauchi SSG.
“In her ruling today, held that the prosecution had placed sufficient evidence before the court that the said money was proceeds of crime and should be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria as demanded by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011 as amended in 2012”. The statement partly read.
The court had in 2019 ordered an interim forfeiture of the said sum following an ex parte application filed by the agency for its seizure.