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Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the
final forfeiture of the sum of N449,597,000 found in an abandoned
Bureau de Change shop in Victoria Island, Lagos the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission EFCC on April 8th.

Justice Aikawa gave the order for permanent forfeiture after no one came forward to claim ownership of the money.

The judge had on April 19th granted an order for the interim forfeiture
of the money pending when anyone would come forward to claim it.

EFCC hand approached the court for an order for the forfeiture of the
money after a respondent in the case, Mohammed Tauheed, failed to come
forward to claim the money. Counsel for the EFCC, Idris Mohammed, told
the judge that the interim order of April 19 had been advertised in the
newspaper on May 11, so as to bring the case to the notice of Tauheed
any interested party.

However neither Tauheed nor any other person come forward to claim the

Delivering judgment on the application for permanent forfeiture, Justice
Aikawa said

“This court ordered, among others, the respondent (Tauheed) and any
other interested party to show cause, within 14 days, why the interim
forfeiture of N449,597,000 should not be made final. As far as my record
shows, neither the respondent nor any other interested party has filed
any affidavit or any other process to show cause why the interim order
should not be made final.

In the instant case, the respondent has, additionally, not filed any
process in response to the motion on notice. In the circumstances, I
have no option but to grant the application as prayed. Accordingly, I
hereordered that the sum of N449,597,000 found in possession of the
respondent, which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an
unlawful activity, be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.”
source: L.Ikeji

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