Court orders forfeiture of naval officers houses, funds to FG – Punch Newspapers

Oladimeji Ramon

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday ordered the permanent forfeiture of landed properties belonging to two naval officers, Captains Olotu Morakinyo and Ebony Aneke, to the Federal Government.

Justice Muslim Hassan made the permanent forfeiture order following an application for same by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

In its application, the EFCC listed the properties as a three-bedroom terrace duplex, located at Lekki Gardens Limited, Phase 4, Lekki-Ajah and a five-bedroom duplex in Lekki, Lagos.

Apart from the houses, the court also ordered the permanent forfeiture of N11,040,000 found in the bank account of a company, Lakewood Garden Ventures Limited, said to be linked to Aneke and his sister, Jimmie.

The EFCC had on March 28, 2018 secured an interim order of forfeiture in respect of the properties.

Justice Hassan, who granted the temporary forfeiture order, had directed the anti-graft agency to publish same in a national daily and gave 14 days for anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

On Thursday, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the judge that the order was published in the newspaper as directed by the judge, adding that both Morakinyo and Aneke were also served with a motion on notice and that they acknowledged same.

Oyedepo said though Morakinyo and Aneke were aware that the case was scheduled for hearing on Thursday they did not show up. He urged the judge to order the permanent forfeiture of the properties as there was no opposition to the application.

Justice Hassan, in a ruling, granted the application and pronounced the properties permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The anti-graft agency had said in its application that the naval officers, who were attached to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency as Guard Commanders, acquired the properties with proceeds of fraud.

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