Saturday, December 2, 2023

Paris Club Refund: Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of N1.4bn

A Federal High Court Justice, Mojisola Olatoregun, on Friday, April 27, 2018, ordered the final forfeiture of a sum of N1,222, 384,857.84 ( One Billion, Two Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Seven Naira and Eighty Four Kobo) only, recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from the account of Melrose General Services Company Limited.

To be forfeited also to government is another sum of N220,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Twenty Million Naira) only, also recovered by the EFCC from two other companies: Wasp Networks Limited and Thebe Wellness Services, to the Federal Government.

Justice Olatoregun had, on Friday, October 13, 2017, ordered an interim forfeiture of the money, following a motion ex parte filed by the EFCC.

In granting EFCC prayers, Justice Olatoregun had ordered anyone interested in the money to appear before the court within 14 days to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge had also directed the Commission to publish in any newspaper for anyone who is interested in the money to appear before the court to show cause why the order for the final forfeiture should not be granted. Following the publication of the order, one Prince Godwin Maduka and a company, Linas International Limited, appeared before the court, praying separately that the funds should be forfeited to them.

Maduka had claimed that his firm, Udemgaba Maduka & Associates, had been engaged in 2011 as a consultant by Zamfara State government to help to recover some “hanging funds”, with an agreement that it would be paid 20% of the recovered funds.

On its part, Linas International Limited had told the court that it was entitled to the payment of $6m from the NGF.

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