Court orders final forfeiture of £578,080 stolen from NIMASA
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of £578,080.00 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Saliu Saidu, who gave the final verdict for the forfeiture, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had shown that the funds were proceeds of unlawful activity.
The EFCC had in December 2017 approached the court through an exparte application argued by its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.
The court had granted an interim forfeiture of the funds after Mr. Oyedepo testified that the money sought to be forfeited is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities of a maritime firm, ZAL Marine Limited.
The EFCC counsel also alleged that the sum was stolen by the maritime firm through some employees of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The EFCC specifically mentioned a Macfoy Irene who was said to have used her position as an Assistant Director and Head of Nigerian Seafarers Development Program to facilitate the fraudulent transfer of the sum of £1,074,600.00 from NIMASA’s Zenith Bank (UK) Account to an offshore account belonging to Swiss Bulk carriers S.A under the false Pretenses of training 54 Nautical Science and Marine Engineering Students on Sea Training on 16th March, 2013.
The money was said to have been transferred from NIMASA’s Accounts without any parastatal or Ministerial Tender Board Approval or Contract.
ZAL Marine Limited then allegedly received and retained the sum of £578,080.00 out of the transfer made to Swiss Bulk Carriers, S.A.