A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the forfeiture of the sum of N426.7 million belonging to an Army General, Brigadier General John Ozigi.
The court gave the order on Friday in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC in the suit numbered FHC/L/CS/1094/18 alleged that a total sum of N426.704,820.88 found in the accounts of a firm, Diamond Head Ventures and Development Company Limited linked to Ozigi.
According to the EFCC, the money was found in the firm’s Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank accounts, adding that they were reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of unlawful activities.
An officer of the anti-graft agency, Clever Ibrahim, said in an affidavit that the money was not commensurate with Ozigi’s earnings in the Nigerian Army, adding that Ozigi’s salary is N750,000.
Ibrahim further claimed that Ozigi had been confronted with the EFCC’s investigative findings and that he had expressed his willingness to return the money to the Federal Government.
EFCC counsel, Mark Anana, had urged the presiding judge, Justice Muslim Hassan to make an order permanently forfeiting the N426m to the FG but the judge directed that Ozigi be put on notice to enable him to come to court to give reasons, if he had any, why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the FG.
While delivering his judgment on Friday, Justice Hassan held that Ozigi failed to satisfy the court with concrete evidence why the money should not be forfeited to Federal Government.
He said: “The application has met the conditions stipulated in Section 17 of the Advanced Free Fraud and Related Offences Act.
“The application is meritorious and it is hereby granted as prayed.”