The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has secured the final forfeiture of $919,202.07 fraudulently kept in an interest yielding bank account by some staff of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.
ICPC uncovered the amount from the three respondents including the Chief Registrar, the Deputy Registrar of the Federal High Court and the Station Road, Port-Harcourt Branch of Union Bank of Nigeria.
In the course of investigating a petition written against some officials of the court for alleged violation of ICPC Act 2000, the Commission’s special investigation team uncovered the money, “being the sum of confiscated, value and sold vessel hidden in a bank account”.
To allow any interested persons show cause why the money should not be forfeited finally to the federal government, ICPC immediately filed an ex-parte motion for an Interim Order of Forfeiture in November 2020.
While ruling on the Interim Order of Forfeiture, Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt granted the Commission’s prayers for interim forfeiture of the sum pending the final hearing of the case.
In his ruling on the Motion on Notice for the final forfeiture of the money, Justice Sani held that he was satisfied that ICPC had placed sufficient evidence before the Court to justify a final forfeiture of the contentious money.
He therefore ordered Union Bank, Station Road Branch, Port-Harcourt to immediately pay the money into the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account as the money in question rightly belonged to the Federal Government of Nigeria.