A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government of N426.7 million belonging to a retired Brigadier-General in the Nigerian Army, John Ozigi.
Justice Muslim Hassan gave the order following a motion on notice seeking final forfeiture of the sum.
The application was filed by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nkereuwem Anana.
Joined as respondents in the suit are: John Ozigi and a firm, Diamond Head Ventures and Development Company Limited.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Justice Hassan had earlier issued an interim order for forfeiture of the sum, following an exparte application filed by the EFCC.
Hassan had then ordered interested parties to appear and show cause why the interim orders should not be made permanent.
The EFCC, in March, argued its application for final forfeiture of the sum on grounds that they were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
The court had then adjourned the case until April 6 for judgement.
Following the disruptions in the system due to COVID-19 pandemic, judgment could not be delivered and counsels were informed of a new date, May 8.
In his judgment, Hassan granted the motion for final forfeiture as prayed by the EFCC.
In the suit, number FHC/L/CS/1094/18, the anti-graft agency had prayed for an order for final forfeiture to the Federal Government, the total sum of N426.7 million found in the account of the respondent.
According to the commission, the sum is reasonably suspected to be crime proceeds.
EFCC in its affidavit deposed to by an operative of the commission, Clever Ibrahim, had told the court that the first respondent was a public officer with a monthly salary estimate of N750,000.
He said intelligence revealed that the total sum found in the account of the company linked to the first respondent were not legitimate sources of income.
He added that when the first respondent was confronted with respect to the sum in the account, he made a statement to the commission.
He said in the said statement, the respondent had indicated willingness to refund the money to the Federal Government, adding that the said statement was attached as EXHIBH EFCC 3.
He had argued that the order, if made, would serve the course of justice as same was sought in good faith and in accordance with the Oaths Act.