Court reserves ruling on final forfeiture of $899,600 found in Abuja apartment

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The dollars found in an apartment

Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday reserved ruling on the application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, asking for the final forfeiture of the sum of $899,600 till January 31, 2022.

Justice F. Giwa Ogunbanjo had on December 4, 2019 ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum upon an ex parte application by the EFCC, which asked that the money recovered from an apartment at Sigma Apartment, No 1 Embu Street, off Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse 2, Abuja be forfeited to the Federal Government, being suspected proceeds of illicit activities.

In granting the application, the court directed the EFCC to publish the Order of interim forfeiture for any person interested in the funds to show cause why it should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

At the resumed hearing today, Ekele Iheanacho, counsel to the EFCC, moved an application for final forfeiture of the sum. He informed the court that all parties had been served with the processes.

Counsel to the respondents, Blessing Anazodo, A.O Usman and Ademola Adeleye for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respondents respectively, informed the court that they have filed their responses to the application.

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The counsel to the 1st respondent urged the court to set aside the interim forfeiture Order earlier granted by Court and order the release of the funds to her client, one Abdullahi Sulaiman.

But EFCC’s counsel, Iheanacho told the court that the Commission filed a counter affidavit to the 1st respondent motion. And relying on the averments contained therein, he urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection.

Meanwhile, counsel to the 2nd and 3rd respondents did not oppose the reliefs sought by the EFCC, to forfeit the funds.

After hearing arguments by the parties, Justice Abubakar adjourned the case till January 31, 2022 for judgment.