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Court orders interim forfeiture of firm’s N5.3b

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of the N5,318,517,789.48 warehoused in a new generation bank to the Federal Government.

Justice Tijjani Ringim made the order sequel to an ex parte motion filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Rotimi Oyedepo.

Oyedepo linked the sum to a firm, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, adding that it was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

He told the court that the money was deposited in three bank accounts in tranches of N1,407,182,797.00, N2,275,525,493.17 and N1,635,809,499.31.

The lawyer prayed the judge to hand over the sum to the Federal Government’s custody for 14 days in the interim and subsequently to be permanently forfeited to the government.

To this end, he applied for an order of court “directing the publication in any national newspaper the interim order…to enable interested party in the property sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of funds sought to be forfeited should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Oyedepo backed his application with a four-page affidavit sworn to by an EFCC investigator Adamu Usman Yusuf.

Justice Ringim in a bench ruling granted the application as prayed.

He adjourned till September 29, for report of compliance.

According to the affidavit, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd was incorporated on November 18, 2010, with a registered address at No. 9. Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State.

Yusuf said: “That there is no business endeavour in the said address. That the Company is not carrying out any legitimate business but rather was primarily procured to retain proceeds of unlawful activities.

“Upon incorporation of the Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, a corporate account was opened. The account started witnessing huge cash deposits which are not proceeds of a legitimate business but rather represent funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“We invited the Managing Director of Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd vide a letter dated 3rd August 2021 which letter was acknowledged by one A. Muhamed.

“Till date, we have not received any objection or opposition from Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd to the Commission’s decision proceeding against the funds sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, same having been reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

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