Seized $2.8m: Court backs EFCC

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has refused to vacate the interim forfeiture order granted on December 28, 2018 in respect of $2.8 million, seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office.

The EFCC on December 20 seized the money from two persons at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. The carriers were Ighoh Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel who were suspected to be money launderers.

While filing application for interim forfeiture on December 24, 2018, the Commission also filed an affidavit of urgency for the matter to be heard before a vacation Judge sitting in Port Harcourt.

Justice A.T. Mohammed on December 28 ruled in favour of the Commission, as the court granted the order of interim forfeiture, pending the determination of the case.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, January 4, 2019, Charles Ajuya, SAN, appeared for the Respondents and prayed the Court to vacate the interim order.

But the EFCC counsel, Anasoh Onyedikachi Henry, who filed eight paragraphs Affidavit of Facts stated the progress made by the Commission in the investigation.

He also presented before the court, the newspaper publication in respect of the court order.

The EFCC counsel further argued that the defence was wrong to have asked for vacation of the court order since the Exparte is still subsisting.

In his ruling, the judge upheld the arguments of the prosecution and said that since the publication of the interim forfeiture order was a public knowledge, the defence should be prepared to proof their case rather than come to court seeking for the vacation of the order.

He, however, directed that the case file be transferred to Enugu Division for continuation of the case, since the court vacation ended 4 January.

The suspects confessed during interrogation that they have been in the business of moving cash for “some notable banks”, for over six years and were in the process of doing same for Union Bank Plc, located at New Market, Onitsha, Anambra State, before their arrest.

They also claimed to be working for Bankers Warehouse Limited.

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