A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, September 1, ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds as well as properties traced to the suspended aide to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Abidemi Rufai.
1st News learnt that Justice Ringim gave the order; following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Also joined as respondents were Rufai’s firm; Omo Mayodele Global Investment, and Sterling Bank Plc as second and third respondents in the suit.
In its statement, the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said the order covers Rufai’s property; located at 11, Omodayo Awotuga Street, Bera Estate, Chevy View, Lekki, Lagos; as well as funds in his accounts domiciled in Sterling and Zenith Banks.
Investigation revealed that Rufai, who was arrested for an alleged $350,000 fraud in the United States of America, USA; had dissipated the sum of N29.37m in the accounts, in tranches of N5,000,000, N5,000,000, N2, 730,000, N1,100,000, N2,040,000, N2,000,000,N2,000,000 and N5,000,000.
The funds, investigation revealed, were housed in his accounts in three different banks.
In the application, the EFCC counsel, Emeka Okongwu urged the court to grant the applicant’s prayers; noting that this was in order to prevent further dissipation of the funds in the bank.
Justice Ringim granted the EFCC’s prayers.
Also, he held that “I am satisfied by the averment in the affidavit deposed to by Usman Abdulhamid and the legal submission of the counsel that this application should succeed and the same is accordingly granted as prayed.”
The judge also ordered the EFCC to publish the Order within 14 days from today for any interested party to show cause why the funds and properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He adjourned further hearing till December 1, 2021.