Court orders final forfeiture of N1.2bn, $327k stashed in Heritage Bank to FG

Court orders final forfeiture of N1.2bn, $327k to FG

The EFCC discovered the funds due to an intelligence reports and determined that they were proceeds of unlawful activities.

A Lagos division of the Federal High Court has ordered the final forfeiture of the sums of N1,260,000,000, $327,132, £167, and €157 to the Federal Government.

The ruling followed an ex parte application filed by the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who recovered the funds, against Heritage Bank Plc and Secure Electronics Technology Limited.

Presiding judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor, had initially ordered an interim forfeiture of the funds on August 15, 2018, as the EFCC claimed they were proceeds of unlawful activities. In an affidavit in support of its application, the agency said Heritage Bank could not reasonably explain the legitimacy of the funds.

Since no party came forward to claim the funds despite the EFCC's public call for any claimants to step forward and show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government, Justice Obiozor was compelled to permanently forfeit the funds to the government as requested by the applicant's counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, during the hearing on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

"The applicant has proved on the balance of probabilities that the funds recovered  from the respondents by the applicant  were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities," he said.

According to a statement by the agency, an intelligence report had led to the discovery of the funds.

Source: news

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