Court orders final forfeiture of N95.3m traced to ex- SGF, Awudu

fc federal high court abuja x
fc federal high court abuja x

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered the final forfeiture of N9.3 million traced to a former Surveyor General of the Federation (SGF), Ebisintei Bietoru Awudu, to the coffers of the Federal Government.

The order was sequel to an application brought by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), describing the money as suspected proceeds of crime.

Justice Evelyn Maha made the order in line with the provision of section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No14, 2006.

The judge held that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) proved beyond reasonable doubt that the property and the money were proceeds of crime as defined by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011.

She noted that in the absence of any objection to the notice of interim forfeiture, which had been published for interested parties to show cause why the assets should not be finally forfeited, the court ordered the final forfeiture of the properties to the federal government.

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Justice Maha had, on December 9, 2021, granted an ex parte motion by the ICPC for an interim order forfeiting the properties to the federal government.  The said ex parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1464/2021 was brought pursuant to section 44(2)(b)and (k) of the 1999 constitution; section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, section 48 of the ICPC Act 2000.

Listed as respondents in the motion ex parte dated November 23, 2021 are Surveyor Ebisintei Bietoru Awudu, Kumeni Services Limited and Geolev Nigeria Limited.

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She, thereafter, ordered the applicant to publish the notice of the order in two national dailies not later than December 30, 2021, with a directive that the properties will be liable to a final forfeiture order to the Federal Government, where and if no one comes forward to show cause why an order of final forfeiture should not be granted by the court.

The case was, thereafter, adjourned to January 19, 2022 for hearing.