Court orders Lagos director to forfeit N28.5m, houses to FG
A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered that N28.5 million and houses belonging to a director be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The court held that the money and houses were proceeds from unlawful activities.
Anifowoshe was the Director of Finance in the Public Works Department of the state.
The belongings to be forfeited are six flats of three bedrooms, another six flats of two bedroom and six flats of one bedroom located at Adewale Osiyeku Street, Offin-Ile Igbogbo-Ikorodu, in Lagos.
Others are four flats of three bedrooms duplex, located at 6, Tunde Gabby Close, Dopemu, Lagos.
The trial judge, Rilwan Aikawa also ordered the final forfeiture of a semi-detached three bedroom flat, and one unit of three-bedroom terrace at Cranbel Court, Citiview Estate Arepo, Ogun State.
Also to be forfeited is a plot of land at Queen’s Garden Estate, off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Justice Aikawa’s order followed an application filed against the director by the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge had earlier granted an interim order forfeiting the money and the property to the Federal Government.
The judge also directed the Federal Government to take administrative step to ensure that both the money and the property are transferred to the Lagos State government.
This was in view of the affidavit before the court that the suspect worked for the state government.
But Anifowoshe through his counsel, Wole Okenile appealed the ruling, arguing that the six flats of three bedrooms, two bedrooms and one bedroom at Adewale Osiyeku Street, Offin-Ile Igbogbo-Ikorodu, Lagos, were acquired before he became a director in the ministry.
Justice Aikawa said Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offence Act, Number 14, 206, empowers the court to grant an order of forfeiture of any property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime to the Federal Government.
The judge said the respondent did not file any counter-affidavit to challenge the plaintiff’s position.
He stressed that only a counsel who made an oral application asking the court to set aside its earlier order of interim forfeiture represented him.
The application was made on the ground that the applicant failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the money and property in contention were stolen.
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