A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N28.5m and several houses allegedly linked to the Director of Accounts at the Lagos State Ministry of Public Works Corporation, Anifowoshe Alade.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa gave the order on Thursday after granting an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking the temporary forfeiture of the fund and property to the Federal Government for allegedly being proceeds of unlawful activities.
He also directed the EFCC to notify the respondent in whose possession the property sought to be forfeited were found and recovered to appear before him and show cause within 14 days why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge further instructed the anti-graft agency to publish the order in a national daily to allow the respondent or anyone who is interested in the property sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.
In the application, the EFCC argued that the money and property sought to be attached were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities, stolen, diverted and retained by Alade from the Corporation.
The forfeited property are six flats of three bedroom, six flats of two bedroom, and six flats of one bedroom at Adewale Osiyeku Street, Offin-Ile Igbogbo, in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
Others are four flats of three bedroom duplex at Tunde Gabby Close in Agege, a plot of land at Queen’s Garden Estate, as well as a semi-detached three bedroom flat and one unit of three-bedroom Terrance at Citiview Estate in Arepo area of Ogun State.
Meanwhile, in an affidavit in support of the application deposed to by an EFCC operative, Zayyanu Halliru, the commission said as a Director of Account, the respondent was custodian, initiator, first authoriser and final authoriser of the internet banking system.
Halliru also incorporated a company called MAJ Anny International Limited where he was said to be a director and the sole signatory to the bank account.
He claimed that the respondent allegedly used his position and company’s account to divert public funds meant for Public Work Corporation, Lagos State.
“I know as a fact that we traced to the respondent, the sum of N106,095,960 which sums he fraudulently stole from Public Works Corporation, Lagos State, to his personal account and converted same to his personal use.
“I know as a fact that we traced to the respondent, the sum of N223,373,475 which sums he fraudulently stole from Public Works Corporation, Lagos State to MAJ Anny International Limited, being his company account.
“The respondent used part of the proceeds of crime allegedly stolen from Public Work Corporation, Lagos State, to purchase and acquire all the property,” the EFCC operative said.
The court consequently adjourned further hearing in the matter till January 16, 2018.
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