By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Monday granted an order of interim forfeiture of the sum of N510 million contained in an account belonging to a company, Elioenai International College.
The Sterling Bank account No: 0029581583 is allegedly owned by former Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Uko Etim Ebong.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through its counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, filed the ex-parte application of the forfeiture of the account.
The prosecution agency in the application contended that the said money is part of the N731million allegedly paid to AVM Ebong, through a company with which he allegedly has a link – Magnificent 5 Ventures Limited, from the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) without any contractual agreement.
According to the Ekele, AVM Ebong was the Commander PAF between 2013 and July 2015.
Justice Mohammed, in his ruling on the ex-parte application, held that he was convinced that the EFCC has made out a case to warrant the grant of the interim forfeiture order.
“An order is hereby made for the interim forfeiture of the sum of N510,000,000 in Sterling Bank account No: 0029581583 recovered by the applicant, which funds are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities,’’ the judge held.
Further in his ruling, Justice Mohammed ordered the anti-graft agency to publicise the said order.
He held that anyone who is interested in the funds in respect of which the order was made, should appear before the court and show cause, within 14 days, why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.