A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, ordered final forefeiture to the Federal Government, of N426.7 million belonging to a retired Brigadier-General in the Nigerian Army, John Ozigi.

Justice Muslim Hassan gave the order, following a motion on notice seeking final forfeiture of the sum.

The application was filed by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Nkereuwem Anana.

Joined as respondents in the suit are: John Ozigi, and a firm named Diamond Head Ventures and Dev. Company Ltd.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Justice Hassan had earlier issued an interim order for forfeiture of the sum, following an exparte application filed by the EFCC.

Hassan had then ordered interested parties to appear and show cause why the interim orders should not be made permanent.

The EFCC, in March, argued its application for final forfeiture of the sum on grounds that they were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unalwful activities.

The court had then adjourned the case until April 6 for judgement.

Following the disruptions in the system due to COVID-19 pandemic, judgment could not be delivered and counsels were informed of a new date, May 8.

In his judgment Hassan granted the motion for final forfeiture as prayed by the EFCC.

In the suit, numbered FHC/L/CS/1094/18, the anti-graft agency had prayed for an order for final forefeiture to the Federal Government, the total sum of N426.7 million found in the account of the respondent.

According to the commission, the sum is reasonably suspected to be crime proceeds.

EFCC in its affidavit deposed to by an operative of the commission, Mr Clever Ibrahim, had told the court that the first respondent was a public officer with a monthly salary estimate of N750,000.

He said that intelligence revealed that the total sum found in the account of the company linked to the first respondent were not legitimate sources of income.

He added that when the first respondent was confronted with respect to the sum in the account he made a statement to the commission.

He said that in the said statement, the respondent had indicated willingness to refund the money to the federal government, adding that the said statement was attached as EXHIBH EFCC 3.

He had argued that the order if made, would serve the course of justice as same was sought in good faith and in accordance with the Oaths Act.

NAN

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