Court Orders Naval Officers To Forfeit Properties And Cash

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Justice M. S. Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi,  Lagos, on Thursday, May 3, 2018, ordered the final forfeiture  of  two different properties and the sum of N 11,040,000.00( Eleven Million, Forty Thousand Naira) belonging to two Naval officers and their company to the Federal Government.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,  EFCC,  had on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, moved a motion on notice for an order of a final forfeiture of the  properties as well as the money belonging to the respondents: Capt.  Olotu Olumuyiwa Morakinyo, Capt.  Ebony Emmanuel Aneke and Lakewood Garden Ventures Limited. The first respondent, Morakinyo,  served as Maritime Guard Commander in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA,  between January and September, 2013. The second respondent,  Aneke, served as Maritime Guard Commander in NIMASA between  September 2013 and  December,  2014.

The third respondent, Lakewood,  is a company jointly  owned by the second respondent and his sister,  Jimmie Aneke. Justice Hassan had, on Wednesday,  March 28, 2018, ordered the  interim  forfeiture  of the properties, following a motion ex parte filed by the Commission.  In a 38-paragraph affidavit  deposed to by Idris Adamu,  an operative of the EFCC, the  applicant had prayed for an order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government a three- bedroom terrace duplex at Lekki Gardens Limited Estate , Phase IV, Lekki-Ajah, Lagos recovered by the Commission from the first respondent.

The EFCC had also prayed for an interim order forfeiting to the Federal  Government another five-bedroom duplex at Lekki,  Lagos State recovered by the Commission from the second respondent. Also,  the EFCC had sought an interim order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government the sum of N11,040,000.00( Eleven Million Forty Thousand Naija)  found and recovered by the Commission from the third respondent.

In his ruling today,  the judge had granted all the prayers sought by the applicant. Justice Hassan had further directed the applicant to notify the respondents  to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be finally forfeited to the Federal  Government .

The judge had also directed the publication in any national newspaper of the interim order  for the respondents  or anyone interested in the properties and the money to show cause within 14 days  why they should  not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government. Consequently,  the EFCC had moved a motion on notice for the final Forfeiture of the properties as well as the money , having  published the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper, as ordered by the court.

At the last adjourned sitting, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that the first and second respondents had been served the notice and that they acknowledged services. However,  the respondents were absent in court during the last proceedings.

In view of this,  Justice Hassan had adjourned the case to May 3, 2018( today)  for ruling on the application filed by the EFCC. In his ruling today,  Justice Hassan ordered the final forfeiture of the properties and the money to the Federal Government.

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