Justice Tijjani Ringim of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum of N5,318,517,789.48 said to be ‘proceeds of unlawful activities’ warehoused in three commercial banks by a firm, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd., to the Federal Government.
The order was sequel to the granting of an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the judge. Arguing the motion, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, told Justice Ringim that the funds deposited in three bank accounts in tranches of N1,407,182,797.00, N2,275,525,493.17 and N1,635,809,499.31 were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
The lawyer prayed the judge to order the interim forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government for a period of two weeks pending subsequent permanent forfeiture. He equally applied for an order of court “directing the publication of the interim order in a national newspaper to enable any interested party put forward any objection to the permanent forfeiture of the funds to government. After listening to Oyedepo’s submissions, the judge granted the prayers contained in the ex-parte motion and adjourned further hearing to September 29 for report of compliance. In a 4-page affidavit attached to the motion deposed to by an EFCC’s investigator, Adamu Usman Yusuf, it was averred that Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd was incorporated on November 18, 2010, with a registered address at No. 9. Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State.
“There is no business endeavour in the said address. The company is not carrying out any legitimate business but rather was primarily procured to retain proceeds of unlawful activities. “Upon incorporation of the Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, a corporate account was opened. The account started witnessing huge cash deposits which are not proceeds of a legitimate business, but rather represent funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities. “We invited the Managing Director of Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd vide a letter dated August 3, 2021 which letter was acknowledged by one, A. Muhamed. Till date, we have not received any objection or opposition from Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd to the Commission’s decision proceeding against the funds sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, same having been reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities,” the deponent further averred.