NIMASA: Court Rules On Final Forfeiture Of Naval Officers’ Properties May 3   

A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday fixed May 3 for ruling on an application for the final forfeiture of three and five-bedroom terraces duplex situated at Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd, Lagos, to the Federal Government.

Justice Muslim Hassan reserved ruling after hearing an application for final forfeiture of the properties filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC alleged that the properties were received, concealed, and converted by the respondents from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). 

Joined as respondents in the suit are two Naval officers and a company — Capt. Olumuyiwa Morakinyo, Capt. Ebony Aneke, and Lakewood Gardens Ventures Ltd.

The court had on March 28 issued an interim order for the forfeiture of the properties and ordered that same be advertised in a national newspaper.

When the case was called on Tuesday, counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that the interim orders of the court including advertisement and service, had been complied with.

He told the court that service was also personally served on the respondents, who had not raised any objection.

Moving his application for the final forfeiture as directed by the court, Oyedepo, therefore, urged that a final order be made for forfeiture of the properties.

After listening to his application, Justice Hassan reserved ruling for May 3.

The EFCC is seeking an order for final forfeiture of three-bedroom terraces duplex and five-bedroom terraces duplexes located at Lekki in Lagos.

The commission also seeks a final forfeiture of the sum of N11 million recovered from the third respondent (Lakewood Gardens Ventures Ltd) which is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

According to the EFCC, the Federal High Court has the statutory powers under Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act to make the orders.

It argues that the properties sought to be attached are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.