Court orders interim forfeiture of N293m, 30,000 shares, lands belonging to ex-JTF commander

Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of N293m, six parcels of land and 30, 000 MTN shares recovered from a former Commander of the military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta Maj Gen Emmanuel Atewe (retd).

He made the order following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Atewe has been standing trial since 2016 alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi; Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.

They were accused by the EFCC of conspiring to divert N8.5bn the military Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta.

On Thursday, the Commission told the judge that the assets were part of the proceeds of N8.5bn which Atewe allegedly diverted from the military operation between September 5, 2014, and May 20, 2015.

The landed properties were identified as 50 hectares of farmland at Plot No. FL746B Gaube Farmland Extension II Layout, Kuje, Abuja; a piece of land located at Commercial Layout, Yenagoa Gardens, Bayelsa State; one hectare of land in Kuje District, Abuja; Plot No. CP10, Sector Centre B Layout, Kuje, Abuja; Plot MF62 Outer Northern Expressway Cadastral Zone, Abuja; Plot No. 1228 Jahi, Abuja; four hectares of land designated as Plot No.CP6386 and Plot No.CP6387, Sabon Lugbe, Abuja.

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An investigating officer of the EFCC, Adamu Yusuf, said Atewe purchased the 30,000 MTN shares for N170,350,000.

EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, said it would be in the interest of justice for the court to order the temporary forfeiture of the assets.

Justice Liman granted the prayers and ordered that the interim forfeiture order be published in a national newspaper.

The judge adjourned till April 20 for anyone interested in the assets to appear before him to show reasons why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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