A court sitting in Lagos Wednesday authorised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize N200 million allegedly kept in several commercial banks by two military officers and their three firms.
Justice Sule Hassan ordered that the sum be forfeited to the Federal Government, pending the conclusion of investigation as to their origins.
The officers are: Adamu Bello Argungu and John Onimisi Ozigi, while their firms are: Falsal & Co Global Services Nigeria Ltd; Diamond Head Ventures & Development Company Ltd; and Sweetex Bureau De Change Ltd.
The EFCC told the judge, through an ex parte application, that the defendants fraudulently withdrew the sum from the Defence Headquarters over-head expenses accounts.
Its counsel, Mr. Nkereuwem Mark Anana, alleged that the sums were warehoused in five banks.
The commission’s application, marked FHC/L/CS/1094/18, was supported by an 18-paragraph affidavit deposed to by its operative, Mr. Clever Ibrahim, two exhibits and a written address.
Ibrahim averred that Argungu and Ozigi are of the Nigerian Army and Air Force respectively, made several unauthorised withdrawals from the Defence Headquarters Overhead Expenses Account.
The deponent alleged that the money was neither deposited in their salary accounts, nor accounts belonging to the Defence Headquarters, but in corporate accounts and other accounts belonging their companies.
He alleged further that although a post-no-debit order was placed on the accounts in compliance with Section 6(5) of the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act, 2011, it lapsed after 72 hours.
Thus, the order of the interim forfeiture was sought to debar the respondents from tampering with the money.
•From The Nation