Justice Tijjani Ringim of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sum of N5,318,517,789.48 warehoused in a new generation bank by a firm, Kaiser Strategic Services Limited to the federal government.
Justice Ringim gave the directive after listening to an ex parte application filed and argued by one of the lawyers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Rotimi Oyedepo.
Oyedepo had told the court in the application that the Ilorin, Kwara State-based firm’s ownership of the fund is questionable because it was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.
According to Oyedepo, Kaiser Strategic Services Limited was incorporated on November 18, 2010, with a registered address at 9, Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State.
He claimed that there is no business endeavour in the said address and that the company is not carrying out any legitimate business but rather was primarily procured to retain proceeds of unlawful activities.
The lawyer alleged that the money was deposited in three bank accounts in tranches of N1,407,182,797.00, N2,275,525,493.17 and N1,635,809,499.31.
He, therefore, urged the judge to put the money under the custody of the federal government for 14 days in the interim and subsequently order it to be permanently forfeited to the government.
Oyedepo further asked the judge for an order “directing the publication of the order in any national newspaper to enable interested party in the money to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of funds sought to be forfeited should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The EFCC counsel backed his application with a four-page affidavit filed in support of the application sworn to by an EFCC investigator Adamu Usman Yusuf.
“We invited the managing director of Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd to vide a letter dated 3rd August 2021 which letter was acknowledged by one A. Muhamed. Till date, we have not received any objection or opposition from Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd to the Commission’s decision.’’
Justice Ringim granted the application as prayed and adjourned further hearing to September 29, for a report of compliance.