Photo: Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe rtd.
Court orders Army General to forfeit properties over N8.5bn fraud
A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture to the federal government of eight properties, as well as 30, 000 MTN shares linked to Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe (rtd.), a former Commander of the Military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta.
The properties are part of proceeds of N8.5billion released to JTF under Atewe’s command for the military task force codenamed Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, which he allegedly converted to personal use between September 5, 2014 and May 20, 2015.
Atewe was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 22-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and money laundering, alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, as well as Kime Enzogu and Josephine Otuaga.
While moving the application for the final forfeiture of the properties to the Federal Government on Friday, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, had argued that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to grant the 11 prayers being sought by the Commission.
Delivering judgment, Justice Chukujekwu Aneke ordered the final forfeiture of the landed properties to the Federal Government, seven of which are in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and one in Bayelsa State.
The properties comprise 50 hectares of farmland at Plot No. FL746B Gbaupe Farmland Extension II Layout, Kuje, Abuja; a piece of land located at Commercial Layout, Yenagoa Gardens, Bayelsa State; one hectre of land in Kuje District, Abuja.
Others are Plot No. CP10, Sector Centre B Layout, Kuje, Abuja; Plot MF62 Outer Northern Expressway Cadastral Zone, Abuja; Plot No. 1228 Jahi, Abuja; four hectares of land designated as Plot No.CP6386 and Plot No.CP6387, Sabon Lugbe, Abuja.
Periscope International reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had earlier on March 26, 2020, also secured the interim forfeiture of the sum of N290 million (Two Hundred and Ninety Million) reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity against Atewe.
The order was sequel to an ex parte application filed before Justice Muhammad Liman, who has since been transferred to the Kano Division of the Federal High Court.