Home » N2.5m Bribe: Court orders forfeiture of funds to FGN

N2.5m Bribe: Court orders forfeiture of funds to FGN

0

The Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, presided over by Justice Akintayo Aluko, has ordered that a sum, to the tune of N2.5 million, be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).

It would be recalled that the said sum had become a subject of controversy between a drug convict and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Specifically, the convict, Fatimah Hassan, through her counsel, Oke Ojakovo, had hinted to the judge during her trial that the officials of the NDLEA had made a demand for the money, as the only means of securing her bail. However, upon the alleged collection of the fund, she was not granted bail.

However, the anti-narcotic agency through its counsel, Lambert Nor, had told Justice Aluko that the convict wanted to utilise the fund to bribe its officials to evade being prosecuted.

This prompted Justice Aluko to issue summons on two officials of the NDLEA. The affected officials mentioned while the trial lasted are Quatu Mohammed, former Lagos State Commander of the Agency, and an officer called Sanni, who was later known as Abaekwue Sunny Ngozie.

In his ruling on the submissions of counsels, Justice Aluko held that “From the evidence of both prosecution and defence witnesses, the money was meant to facilitate the release of the convict then a suspect from the custody of the Agency who was arrested for the offence of unlawful dealing in 33.5 kg of cannabis sativa against the provision of Section 11 (c) of the Act.

“It is not in doubt that the offence of unlawful dealing in 33.5 kg of cannabis sativa is a violation of the provisions of the NDLEA Act.

“Offering the sum of N2.5m or any sum for that matter to facilitate the release of the convict who was then in the custody of the Agency at the time she was arrested and held for violation of the relevant provisions of the Act is against the spirit, the intendment, purpose, and objectives of the provisions of the Act.”

“By the combined efficacy of the provision of Section 19(1) (a) (d) of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery And Management Act), 2022, any property or money involved in the facilitation of an unlawful activity like in the instant case is liable to be forfeited.

“By the combined provision of Sections 19, 22 and 68 of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, the court is clothed with powers and jurisdiction to order forfeiture of such monies to be paid into an account known as the Confiscated And Forfeited Properties Account maintained at the CBN.

“Accordingly, the sum of N2.5 million being the sum of money procured by the convict’s relations presented and offered to the men and officers of the Agency for the release of the convict from the custody of the NDLEA constitute property or money involved in the facilitation of unlawful activity under Section 19 (1) (c) of the proceeds of crime (Recovery & Management) Act, 2022. The said sum is liable to forfeiture.

“It is hereby forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The appropriate organ, directorate, or department of the Agency Is hereby ordered to pay the money into the confiscated and forfeited properties account maintained with the Central Bank of Nigeria and proceed to file an affidavit of compliance before the court.”

Leave a Reply

You may have missed