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Court orders forfeiture of NIMASA funds diverted under Jonathan’s government

The Federal Excessive Courtroom in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the ultimate forfeiture of the sums of $16,500,000 and N127 million fraudulently embezzled from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Company.

Based on the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee, the funds have been embezzled throughout the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Justice Kehinde Ogundare ordered the ultimate forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Authorities, following an software by the EFCC on Tuesday.

EFCC lawyer Sulaiman I. Sulaiman instructed the choose that the funds got here from unlawful actions.

The EFCC in its supporting assertion defined that the funds have been diverted after Jonathan, via the then Nationwide Safety Adviser Sambo Dasuki, permitted the discharge of N1.2 billion to NIMASA on November 4, 2023.

Based on the EFCC, the funds have been meant for the implementation of worldwide transport and port safety initiatives.

Based on the EFCC, the cash was transferred to the financial institution accounts of 1 Uche Obilor, an ally of the NIMASA Managing Director, Captain Bala Agaba.

Agaba can be mentioned to have been the chairman of the ISPS committee.

The EFCC mentioned: “That on November 4, 2013, the then President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, via the Nationwide Safety Adviser, permitted the requested sum of N1.12 billion, and following the discharge of the primary tranche of N1.12 billion, an account quantity 0060559139 was opened on 03/1/14, with Captain Bala Ezekiel Agaba, the Chairman of ISPS Committee/Government Director, NIMASA, Mr. Victor I. Onuzurike and Mr. Dele T. Ejekukor as signatories.

“After the cash was deposited into the Committee’s account, one Mr. Uche Obilor, a detailed affiliate of the Committee Chairman, Captain Agaba, obtained the full sum of N437,726,666.66 million via his firm generally known as Seabulk Offshore Operator Restricted with account quantity 005326440.

“That Obilor additionally obtained one other sum of N402m, via his firm Southern Offshore Restricted with account quantity 1013224100. And that the mentioned Mr Uche Obilor additionally used his firm generally known as Ace Prothesis Restricted to obtain the full sum of N66,800m, via his account quantity 1012583949.”

The choose had on Might 23, 2024, issued an order briefly forfeiting the funds, following an ex parte software by the EFCC.

The choose mentioned the short-term forfeiture order ought to be revealed in a nationwide newspaper to tell the general public. He additionally mentioned anybody within the cash ought to strategy the courtroom with the reason why the funds shouldn’t be completely forfeited to the federal authorities.

On Tuesday, EFCC lawyer Suleiman mentioned the publication had taken place in The RexGists newspapers and that nobody had turned as much as declare the cash.

He due to this fact requested the courtroom to declare the funds completely forfeited.

Justice Ogundare, after listening to Suleiman, mentioned the “order was granted as sought.”

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