Justice Rilwan M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, December 7th, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N28, 500, 000 (Twenty-eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and several houses allegedly belonging to a Director of Accounts, Lagos State Ministry of Public Works Corporation, Anifowoshe Alade, to the Federal Government. The judge gave the order following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and Section 44 (2)(b) of the Constitution.
In an affidavit in support of the application deposed to by Zayyanu Halliru, an investigator with the EFCC, it was stated that the respondent, Alade, while holding the position of Director of Finance, incorporated a company called MAJ Anny International Limited.
It was further stated that Alade, who is a Director in the company and the sole signatory to its account, used his position and company’s account to divert public funds meant for Public Work Corporation, Lagos State.
The deponent, among claims in the affidavit, also said: “I know, as a fact, that we traced to the respondent the sum of N106, 095,960.00 (One Hundred and Six Million, Ninety Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty Naira) which sums he fraudulently stole from Public Works Corporation, Lagos State to his personal account No. 0015893001 domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank and converted same to his personal use.
“I know as a fact that we traced to the respondent the sum of N223,373,475.00 (Two Hundred and Twenty Three Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Seventy Five Naira) which sums he fraudulently stole from Public Works Corporation, Lagos State to Maj Anny International Limited, being his company account domicile in Zenith Bank.”
It was further stated that the sum of N28, 500, 000 had so far been recovered from the respondent.
Moving the application today, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, said the money as well as the properties sought to be attached were suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
“They are stolen, diverted and retained by him from the Lagos State Public Works Corporation,” he said.
In his ruling on the application, the judge ordered the temporary forfeiture of the money as well as the properties. The forfeited property are: “Six flats of three- bedroom, six flats of two- bedroom and six flats of one- bedroom at Adewale Osiyeku Street, Offin-Ile Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos State. Others are: Four flats of three- bedroom duplex at 6, Tunde Gabby Close, Dopemu Area, Pako Bus Stop Agege, Lagos State; one plot of land at Queen’s Garden Estate, Off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; a semi-detached three-bedroom flat and one unit of three- bedroom Terrance at Cranbel Court, Citiview Estate Arepo, Ogun State.
Justice Aikawa directed the EFCC to notify the respondent to appear before the court within 14 days why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge also directed the Commission to publish the order in a national newspaper so as to allow the respondent or anyone who is interested in the property to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the property should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.
Justice Aikawa adjourned further hearing in the case to January 16, 2018.