By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, ordered that N200 million warehoused in some commercial banks by two military officers and their three companies, be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government, pending the outcome of investigation.
The said money, according to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was fraudulently withdrawn from the Defence Headquarters overhead expenses accounts by the two officers and their companies.
The two military officers are Adamu Bello Argungu and John Onimisi Ozigi, while their companies are Falsal & Co Global Services Nigeria Limited, Diamond Head Ventures & Development Company Limited and Sweetex Bureau De Change Limited.
Trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, ordered the said sum, in the interim, be forfeited to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigation, after listening to the submissions of Mr. Nkereuwem Anana, EFCC lawyer, who moved an ex-parte application for the order.
Urging the court to grant the application, EFCC attached an 18-paragraph affidavit, two exhibits and a written address to the application.
The EFCC, in an affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Clever Ibrahim, averred that the two military officers, Argungu and Ozigi, are of the Nigerian Army and Air Force, respectively, made several unauthorised withdrawals from the Defence Headquarters Overhead Expenses Account.
The deponent also stated that the monies were deposited not in their salary accounts, or the accounts belonging to the Defence Headquarters, but in corporate accounts and other accounts belonging to their companies.
He further averred that the said monies are domiciled in seven accounts(bank’s name withheld) belonging to Adamu Bello Argungu and Falsal & Co Global Services Limited, and in two accounts in another bank (name withheld) belonging to John Onimisi Ozigi and his company, Diamond Head Ventures & Development Limited.
He also added that Ozigi and his company, Diamond Head Ventures & Development Company Limited kept part of their money in two accounts (bank’s name withheld).
He stated that though a post-no-debit had been placed on the accounts by the provision of Section 6(5) of the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act, 2011, which had lapsed after 72 hours, the order of the interim forfeiture was sought to stop the respondents from tampering with the money.
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