Justice Tijani Ringim ordered the interim forfeiture of money and property belonging to ex-NIMASA boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
The court granted the application after listening to the argument on the application for forfeiture
EFCC approached the court in an ex-parte application seeking an interim order of forfeiture of N725.3 million and property linked to the ex-NIMASA DG.
On Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured an interim forfeiture of N725.3 million and property linked to Patrick Akpobolokemi, former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Justice Tijjani Ringim of a Lagos division of the federal high court gave the order following an ex parte application filed by the EFCC.
EFCC applied under section 17 of the advance fee fraud and other related offenses act No 14 of 2006 and Section 44(2b) of the 1999 Constitution.
The court ordered the interim forfeiture of the N725 million and property located in the Banana Island area of Ikoyi, Lagos.
Arguing the application for forfeiture, EFCC counsel, Blikisu Buhari told the court that the money and property were suspected proceeds of unlawful activities.
Bilikisu asked the court to make an order for the interim forfeiture of the money and property.
She also prayed for an order directing anyone who has an interest in the properties sought to be forfeited to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why a final order should not be made for the forfeiture of the said properties to the Federal Government.
Justice while ruling on the application for forfeiture granted the prayer sought by EFCC and ordered the interim forfeiture of the money and properties.
“I have listened to the submission of counsel and perused the affidavit in support of the application together with exhibits. I find merit in this statutory application and same is granted as prayed.” The judge said.
Akpobolokemi was first arraigned In October 2015 by the EFCC on a 22-count charge bordering on diverting N2.6 billion from NIMASA’s accounts between December 2013 and May 2015.
He was arraigned alongside five others namely; Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Juan, Blockz and Stonz Limited, and Al-Kenzo Logistics Limited.
Upon arraignment before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos, he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and trial commenced.
He filed an application saying he had no case to answer; however, on October 16, 2017, the court dismissed his no-case submission.
He subsequently approached the court of appeal and In June 2018, The court of appeal discharged and acquitted him of the charges against him.
A three-member panel of judges led by Yargatta Nimpar unanimously upheld the no-case submission he filed to the criminal charges against him.
EFCC again re-arraigned him alongside a former executive director of NIMASA, Ezekiel Agaba over alleged N754.8 million fraud.
However, the former NIMASA DG has also filed a no-case submission of which Justice R. Adebiyi will rule on the application on Friday, May 5, 2023
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