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JUST IN: Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Ilorin Firm’s N5.3b Unclaimed Kwara Loot To FG

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A Federal High Court in Lagos Wednesday ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of N5,318,517,789.48 warehoused in a new generation bank to the Federal Government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke made the order sequel to an unchallenged motion filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Oyedepo, on September 1, secured an order of interim forfeiture of the sum, granted by vacation judge, Justice Tijjani Ringim.

This followed the EFCC’s ex-parte motion linking the sum to a firm, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd and adding that it was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

The lawyer told the court 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 prayed the judge to hand over the sum to the Federal Government’s custody for 14 days in the interim and subsequently to be permanently forfeited to the government.

To this end, he applied for an order of court “directing the publication in any national newspaper the interim order…to enable any interested party in the property sought to be forfeited 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.”

Oyedepo backed his application with a four-page affidavit sworn to by an EFCC investigator Adamu Usman Yusuf.

The judge granted the application.

At the resumption of proceedings Wednesday before Justice Aneke, Oyedepo informed the judge that the interim order had not been challenged by anyone.

He prayed the court to make an order for the final forfeiture of the funds.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr John Itodo, did not oppose the EFCC’s prayer.

In a bench ruling, Justice Aneke held: “I have listened to the submission vis-a-vis the affidavit deposed to by Mr Adamu Usman Yusuf, the operative of the applicant.

“Since this application has not been countered or disputed, it is hereby ordered as prayed.

“The final forfeiture of the sum of N5.3bn is hereby made and the said fund is permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

According to Yusuf’s affidavit, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd was incorporated on November 18, 2010, with a registered address at No. 9. Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State.

The affidavit stated, among others, that “There is no business endeavour in the said address. The company is not carrying out any legitimate business but rather was primarily procured to retain proceeds of unlawful activities.

“Upon incorporation of the Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, a corporate account was opened. The account started witnessing huge cash deposits which are not proceeds of a legitimate business but rather represent funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“We invited the Managing Director of Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd 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 proceeding against the funds sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, same having been reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

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BREAKING: EFCC Restricting Me From APC Presidential Screening – Okorocha Voices Out

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Former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has alleged that the seige on his Abuja home by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is an attempt to stop him from attending the presidential screening of the All progressives Congress, APC.

Okorocha raised alarm on Tuesday when operatives of the Anti-graft commission stormed his Abuja home.

The FidelinfoNews learnt this while Speaking to journalists at his Maitama residence, he called on the Nigerian populace to come to his aid.

He says that he never received any invitation or got court summons from any quarters.

“Frankly speaking, the situation I find myself is a situation of what I call hostage. Policemen and EFCC operatives are currently in my compound and they want to possibly whisk me away… my gate is blocked.

“All I am asking for now is to allow me to go for my screening because I am a Presidential aspirant and our election comes up on Sunday. If I am not allowed to go for this screening, I might miss it.”, he said.

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Lagos Explosion: Gas Plant Owner Dies, Lawyer Insist On N800m Compensation

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Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, on Monday, struck out the criminal charges against the owner of Fash Oil Limited, Alhaji Waidi Fashola, popularly known as Larafash, following his death.

As at the time of filling this report , the FidelinfoNews couldn’t gathered the cause of the sudden death of the defendant.

The Lagos State Government had dragged Fashola to court following an explosion at his gas plant, Bestroof, on Cardoso Road, Baruwa Estate, Ipaja.

No fewer than eight people died in the explosion, which happened on October 8, 2020, on Baruwa Estate, in the Ipaja area of the state.

Many houses and shops were also destroyed in the explosion.

During the short court sitting on Monday, the defence counsel, Ademola Adeshina, announced appearance for the defendant and informed the judge of his death through a letter to the court.

While the judge was going through the documents, she asked the counsel, “What happened to him?”

Adeshina replied, “We wrote a letter and also attached pictures and other documents.”

The state counsel, Abike Oluwasanmi, acknowledged the service of the letter and expressed her condolences.

“In the circumstance, we apply that the case be struck out,” Adeshina added.

Justice Ogala in response said, “Honestly, we extend our condolences too. The case is struck out.”

The 64-year-old businessman was facing 30 counts and was granted bail.

The charges read in part, “That you, Waidi Fasola, committed an offence on October 8, 2020, around 5.45am at 61b, Cardoso Road, Baruwa, Ipaja, in the Ikeja Judicial Division, when a loaded truck in your company with negligence and unlawful permitting the discharge of LPG (gas) into a tank, led to the deaths of Aderinsoye Olamilekan, Aderinsoye Mowa, Mohammed Abubakar, Abike Oluwasanmi, Evans Udom, Adebowale Aisha, Adeleke Olusola Amos and Adeleke Oluwadarasinmi.”

The prosecution also claimed that the unlawful act of “failure to take precaution against danger” led to severe bodily harm to Adebisi Micheal and Adache Blessings, while causing severe burns to Bose Oyelumade, Nuru Nasir, Ayo Ademisoye, Emmanuel Udom, and bodily injuries to Omorieghe Josephine, severe burns to Usman Yakubu, Ronke Gbele, Mrs Juwon Abiodun, as well as inflicting head lacerations on one Sunday.

Aside from the deaths and bodily injuries, the prosecution equally claimed that the failure of Fashola to take precautions led to the destruction of houses and shops and the destruction of some apartments in the community.

The counsel for the family of victims affected by the explosion, Akeem Fadun, while condoling with Fashola’s family, said the death would not affect the already filed civil case in court.

He said, “The civil case in court is against the Lagos State Government and Bestroof Limited, and the death of the man will not affect the case in any way. The total number of people that died in the explosion is 10.”

Fadun said the compensation being sought for families of the deceased and those who were injured was about N800m, which he said his law firm would continue to pursue.

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Lawyer Criticises EFCC’s Arrest Of Advert Executive In Enugu

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Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has criticised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its arrest of an advertisement executive, Baron Nnamdi, in Enugu State.

The FidelinfoNews reports that EFCC said the billboard advert is an “offensive political campaign message”.

The EFCC accused Mr Nnamdi of publishing an “offensive political campaign message” on a billboard in Enugu, with the commission’s name and logo on it.

In a message on the billboard obtained by The FidelinfoNews.The message reads; ‘2023: Enugu PDP Learn From 2007 Election… EFCC Is Coming With Koboko On Corrupt Candidates’.

The EFCC arrested Mr Nnamdi on Saturday, according to the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.

Mr Effiong, however, said Mr Nnamdi committed no offence and, therefore, should be released immediately by the anti-graft commission.

He also asked the EFCC to apologise to him.

The lawyer, in a statement on Sunday, said the reasons given by the EFCC to justify the arrest of Mr Namdi were “baseless, false and legally unfounded”.

“The use of the logo or name of the EFCC is in itself not a criminal offence,” Mr Effiong said.

“There is no Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 that makes the mere use of the name or logo of the EFCC, without more, a criminal offence.

“Section 6 (q) of the EFCC Act provides for the functions of the Commission, which includes: ‘carrying out and sustaining rigorous public and enlightenment campaigns against economic and financial crimes within and outside Nigeria.’

“By Section 24 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), citizens have a constitutional duty to assist law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their functions,” he said.

Mr Effiong dismissed as “false and misleading” the claim by the EFCC that the billboards at Otigba and Zik Avenue Junctions in Enugu could threaten the aspiration of some politicians in the state in the buildup to the 2023 general election.

The lawyer said the message in the billboard is positive and promotes the agency’s war against corruption.

“It is rather ironic that the same EFCC that claims to be investigating politicians regarding the source of the humongous sums they are using to buy nomination forms, is now antagonising patriotic citizens who are warning corrupt politicians to be mindful of the same EFCC.”

Mr Effiong described the arrest as “needless persecution and distraction”.

He said the commission should rather commend the group that sponsored the advert.

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