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COURT

Court orders temporary forfeiture of N200m linked to military officers, firms

Lukman Olabiyi

Justice Sule Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, ordered that the sum of N200 million, allegedly fraudulently warehoused in some commercial banks by two military officers, and their three companies, should be temporary forfeited, pending the outcome of investigation on it.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the money in question was fraudulently withdrawn from the Defence Headquarters over-head expenses accounts by the two officers and their companies.

The two military officers are: Adamu Bello Argungu and John Onimisi Ozigi, while their companies are: Falsal & Co Global Services Nigeria Limited; Diamond Head Ventures & Development Company Limited; and Sweetex Bureau De Change Limited.

The court gave the order, after listening to the submissions of Mr. Nkereuwem Mark Anana, the EFCC lawyer, who moved an Ex-parte application for the order.

In urging the court to grant the order, the EFCC attached with the Ex-parte application marked FHC/L/CS/1094/18, an 18-paragraph affidavit, two exhibits and a written address.

The EFCC, in an affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Clever Ibrahim, averred that the two military officers, Adamu Bello Argungu and John Onimisi Ozigi, are of the Nigerian Army and Air Force, respectively, who made several unauthorised withdrawals from the Defence Headquarters Overhead Expenses Account.

The deponent also stated that the money was deposited not in their salary accounts, nor the accounts belonging to the Defence headquarters, but in corporate accounts and other accounts belonging their companies.

He further stated that the accounts where the said money warehoused were domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) account number 0142893798; 0229980366; 0023038546; 0023038553; 00223038539; 0052260716 and 0023673121, belonging to Adamu Bello Argungu and Falsal & Co Gloval Services Limited, while Skye Bank Plc with account numbers: 1060118510 and 4010007344 belonging to John Onimisi Ozigi and his company, Diamond Head Ventures & Development Limited.

He also stated that part of money was kept in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) account numbers 3584478019 and 3584478026 belonging to Sweetex Bureau De Change Limited, and Zenith Bank Plc, account with 1010260044, 1010399694 and 1000468142 belonging to Diamond Head Ventures.

Furthermore, the deponent stated that John Onimisi Ozigi and his company, Diamond Head Ventures & Development Company Limited and kept part of the money in Skye Bank Plc’s account numbers: 1060118510 and 4010007344, respectively.

He stated that though, a post-no-debit have been placed on the accounts by the provision of section 6(5) of the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act, 2011, which had lapsed after 72 hours, and that the order of the interim forfeiture was sought to debar the Respondents from tampering with the money.

 

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