By Shola Adewunmi
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday, June 8, 2020, ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of N827, 679, 098 (Eight Hundred and Twenty-seven Million, Six Hundred and Seventy-nine Thousand, Ninety- Eight Kobo), recovered from an account belonging to a contractor with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), one Matthew Edevbie, Chief Executive Officer, Flank Power Resources Limited, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Aneke gave the order following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In an affidavit deposed to by Chidi Nweke, an investigator with the EFCC, the Commission prayed the court for the forfeiture of the money domiciled in Zenith Bank account of the respondent.
The money, according to EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, was allegedly diverted by Edevbie, who is an alter-ego of Flank Power Resources Limited, which was awarded a contract by the NDDC.
In the affidavit, the Commission further stated that Flank Power Resources Limited, received the sum of N1, 323, 475, 237, 12 (One Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty- three Million, Four Hundred and Seventy-five Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty-seven Naira, Twelve kobo) between 2018 and 2019 in its corporate account no. 1015642852 domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc.
Justice Aneke granted all the reliefs sought by the EFCC and ordered the forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.
The judge further directed the Commission to publish the forfeiture order in any national newspaper within 14 days, notifying the respondents or anyone interested in the money to appear before the court and show cause why it should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.