Court orders final forfeiture of N2.2bn recovered from ex-Chief of Air Staff

A Federal High Court on Wednesday ordered the final forfeiture of a sum of N2.2billion recovered from former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun gave the order following the application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Olatoregun in her ruling ordered that N2,244,500,000 recovered by the EFCC by Amosu be paid into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) with Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).

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The judge also ordered the final forfeiture of N190,828,978.15 recovered from a former Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Finance and Budget Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.

Also, the Judge ordered the forfeited is N101 million recovered from Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to Amosu.

The court held that the Commission complied with the order of the court made on June 7, 2018, which included that the interim forfeiture of the sums be advertised in The Nation and Punch newspapers.

Justice Olatoregun dismissed the counter-affidavits by Amosu and Gbadebo, wherein she stated that the duo did not justify the money’s valid ownership.

“In a forfeiture proceeding, the evidential burden shifted to the respondents to prove that they obtained the money lawfully, which they failed to do.

“The case (forfeiture proceedings) can go on in the face of the criminal proceedings.

“The respondents did not provide any justification for not granting EFCC’s application.

“They failed to provide any facts as to the level of probability to ascertain if the funds were obtained lawfully.

“Upon examination of the two applications asking that the interim orders be set aside, I found no reason to set aside the orders.

“The applications are hereby dismissed. The only conclusion I can reach is that the funds are proceeds of unlawful activity.

“The affidavits disclose no reason why the order of final forfeiture should not be made,” the Judge ruled.

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