An Abuja division of the federal high court has reserved ruling on an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking final forfeiture of the sum of $899,600 linked to former Bauchi State Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija, till January 31, 2022.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1986/19, EFCC is the applicant, Abdallah Suleiman is the first respondent, Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija the second respondent and Sigma Apartments Ltd is the 3rd respondent, according to NAN.
The sum being suspected proceeds of illicit activities was recovered by EFCC from an apartment at Sigma Apartment, No 1 Embu Street, off Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse 2, Abuja.
What happened in court
At the resumed trial on Wednesday, counsel to EFCC Ekele Iheanacho moved an application for the final forfeiture of the said sum.
Counsel to respondents told the court that they had filed their responses to the application.
Blessing Anazodo, counsel to 1st respondent prayed the court to set aside the interim forfeiture order earlier granted by the court and order the release of the fund to her client, Mr Abdullahi Sulaiman.
EFCC argued that the Commission had filed a counter-affidavit to the 1st respondents motion. He then urged the court to dismiss the preliminary objection.
The presiding judge, Justice Zainab Abubakar reserved ruling on the application EFCC’s final forfeiture application and adjourned the matter for January 31, 2022, for judgement.
How the money was found
According to EFCC’s counsel, the Commission had received intelligence bordering on money laundering stashed at Sigma apartments. He said investigations revealed the former Bauchi State Secretary to the state government, Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija had secured the apartment to store his valuables.
What you should know
On December 4, 2019, justice F. Giwa Ogunbanjo ordered the interim forfeiture of the said sum following an ex-parte motion by the EFCC.
One Abdallah Suleiman had earlier come forth to claim the money, saying he engages in chartering of aircraft through his company Montes Auri Ltd and that the money was received on behalf of a company.
However, investigations by EFCC at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) failed to establish Suleiman’s claim.
The court had earlier ordered EFCC to publish the order of interim forfeiture to enable any person interested in the funds to show cause why the money should not be forfeited to the federal government.
The matter was reassigned to Justice Zainab Abubakar following the transfer of the trial judge, Giwa-Ogunbanjo to another division.