Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the final forfeiture of N354, 000 (Three Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand Naira) only which was uncovered by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, during investigations into the N49 million intercepted at the Kaduna International Airport on March 13, 2017.
Oyebanji Steve, Taiye Omoniyi Oluwaleke, Risikat Taimiyu Titilayo, Fausat Oni, and Joshua Kisabo had laid claim to the N49 million and challenged the confiscation of the money by the EFCC.
During further investigation, one of the claimants led a team of operatives to Deidei, a suburb in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, where in the process of executing a search, some thugs had attacked operatives; but the attack was repelled by police officers on the team.
Subsequently, a bag containing the N354,000 was uncovered, abandoned by some persons suspected to be engaging in unlawful selling of new naira notes. The money was made up of N200 and N50 notes (mint) abandoned at the scene, which was confiscated and taken to the Kaduna office of the EFCC.
Since the seizure, nobody has come to claim the money. Hence, it was suspected to be proceeds of crime.
On March 13, 2018, Justice Dimgba granted an interim forfeiture order of the said amount following an ex parte motion filed by the EFCC.
Consequently, the EFCC moved a motion on notice for the final forfeiture of the money, having published the interim forfeiture order in the national newspapers, as ordered by the Court.
In his ruling on January 21, 2019, Justice Dimgba granted the final forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.