A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday ordered the interim forfeiture of N827million recovered from a businessman, Matthew Edevbie, to the Federal Government.
Justice Chukwujeku Aneke made the order following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He directed the EFCC to advertise 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 government.
The EFCC through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo had told the judge that Edevbie owned a firm, Flank Power Ltd.
He said the forfeited sum, comprising N616,679,098.32 and N211,000,000.00 was deposited in Flank Power Ltd’s bank account between February 11 and 19.
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,” Oyedepo said.
He persuaded the judge 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.”
In it, 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”.