By ADESINA AIYEKOTI
The Supreme Court of England and Wales yesterday reduced the confiscation order of 1.54 million pounds pronounced against an international businessman, Terry Waya to 392,400 pounds.
In the lead judgment read by Justice Lord Walker, the court held that confiscation proceedings must be proportionate and that human rights considerations must be considered when deciding a confiscation order.
According to the judgment summary released yesterday by the court, the justices ruled that confiscation orders are not imposed to act as further punishment, but merely to stop those that are seeking to benefit from their crimes.
The effect of this ruling means that Mr. Waya whose London property is worth over one and half million pounds and which had been forfeited by prosecution authorities, should now be returned to him with immediate effect. Speaking on the ruling, Mr Waya’s councel, Mr. Jonathan Chike Epelle of CLP Solicitors, London, said that justice had been done and that the court had agreed with the position we had argued right from he beginning.
He applauded the court for the common sense approach it took, stating that it was unfortunate that Mr. Waya had had to wait almost three years through the Crown Court. “It took a decision by the Court of Appeal and two Supreme Court decisions before Mr. Waya could finally get justice.”
He said that in Mr. Waya’s case, there had been no loser, no victim, and any mortgage advance acquired by Mr. Waya had been fully repaid with interest within 19 months, and given that this was the case, it was regrettable that it took the fully constituted nine Supreme Court justices to change the law relating to benefit in confiscation mortgage fraud for Mr. Waya to get justice.
Other justices of the court that sat over the matter were Justices Lord Phillips, Lady Hale, Lord Judge, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Ree, and Sir Anthony Hughes. Lord Phillips and Lord Reed, in their dissenting judgment, pronounced that the confiscation order should be quashed entirely.