Justice Ahmed Mohammad of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division has ordered a final forfeiture of N116 million recovered from one Hamza Barau by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge gave the order on Thursday following a motion on notice moved by the EFCC lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho.
Mr Barau is the managing director of Hamshakin Ventures Limited. The said company was allegedly used to move funds from the coffers of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
- According to the EFCC, between November 21, 2014, and February 28, 2016, Mr Barau, was paid the sum of N174 million by SMEDAN to executive various contracts.
- EFCC alleged that Mr Barau did not execute the contract of which he was awarded on September 15, 2014.
- Mr Barau admitted that he did not execute the contracts. He however refunded the total sum of N116 million in favour of the EFCC Recovery Fund Account.
- EFCC submitted that certificates of job completions were issued to Mr Barau’s firm by former members of the House of Representatives of which no due verification was carried out by SMEDAN officials before making payment.
- EFCC’s lawyer told the court that the money recovered were suspected proceeds of unlawful activities.
- The court had made an order for interim forfeiture of the funds of which the order was published in a national daily.
- EFCC submitted that after the publication of the order, no one came forth to show cause why the funds should not be forfeited to the federal government.
- After listening to submissions, Justice Mohammed granted the motion of the applicant and ruled that “The sum of N116 million recovered by the applicant is hereby forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
What you should know
- Mr Barau was allegedly awarded five contracts by SMEDAN for Gombe, Benue and Jigawa Constituencies Projects.
- The contracts include the provision of a strategic empowerment programme in Akko, Gombe State; conduct of pilot post seasonal intervention programme in Vandeikya/Konshisha, Benue and the supply of motorcycles in Kiyawa, Jigawa State.
- The EFCC in its motion had sought an order of final forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.