Court Orders Interim Forfeiture Of N3.5b, $68,000, Properties Of Ex-NAMA MD, Employees

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N3.5 billion and $68,000 belonging to the top managers of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and its Managing Director, Ibrahim Abdulsalam.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyibo made the interim forfeiture order based on an ex-parte originating summons filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Apart from Abdulsalam, the former managers of NAMA affected by the order are Olumuyiwa Adegorite, a former General Manager of Procurement of NAMA; and Segun Agbolade, a former General Manager, Finance.

Others are: a former acting General Manager, Information and Communication Technology, Bolaniran Akinribido; Adegorite- wife, Joy; and Abiodun Sessebor.

The rest are Randville Investment Limited, Multeng Travels and Tours, Delosa Limited, Airsea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedule Systems Limited as well as their affiliate companies.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is prosecuting them, asked that the properties, buildings, parcels of land and premises belonging to them be temporarily vested in the EFCC.

In a supporting affidavit, an EFCC investigating officer, Nurudeen Bello, said the commission received a petition on January 13, 2016 alleging that some management staff of NAMA stole government funds running into billions of naira.

He averred that the sums were derived through fictitious procurement contracts, fake container clearing contracts and fraudulent cash advances to some members of staff.

Bello said that the funds in the bank accounts were some of the laundered proceeds of the alleged crime for which they were being prosecuted.

The deponent averred that while the prosecutions were on-going, the commission got wind of plans by the respondents to transfer funds out of their various accounts.

He said that the properties, buildings, parcels of land and premises belonging to the respondents were also some of the laundered proceeds of the crimes for which they were being prosecuted.

He also averred that an order of court, attaching the aforementioned funds therein to the commission, was imperative to prevent further dissipation of the respondents” funds and assets.

He emphasised that it was in the interest of justice to grant the commission- application.

Justice Oguntoyibo granted the application as prayed after it was moved by the EFCC counsel.

Seized were the N30.1 million in Adegorite- account, N8.7million and N120 million in Randville Investment- account and $42,000 in Adegorite- account.

Others were N2.8 million in Delosas account, N1.2 billion in the account of Avesta Ventures Electronics Nigeria Limited, N985.6 million, N281 million, N681 million and N47 million in accounts of Merry Aviation Communication Electrical Limited, among others.

A residential building at 5, Sobo Arobiodu Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos; a petrol station on Egbeda-Idimu Road, by Faith Bus Stop, Lagos; a filling station in Mushin, Idi-Oro, Lagos; and a petrol station in Alakuko area of Lagos State were among the assets temporarily forfeited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that the ownership of the listed properties was yet to be determined.

Abdulsalam and others are also on trial for N2.8 billion fraud before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the same court.

They pleaded not guilty.