The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from an apartment in the Ikoyi area of Lagos on Wednesday.
Punch reports that the court, in a ruling on Thursday afternoon by Justice Muslim Hassan, ordered that the funds be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
The judge adjourned till May 5, 2017, for anyone interested in the funds to show up before him to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
It was learnt that the recovery was made at a service apartment located at Osborne Towers.
The identity of the owner of the funds had yet to be ascertained but the recovery was made due to information from a whistle-blower.
In line with the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government, the whistleblower is expected to receive nothing less than N500m as a reward.
A source at the EFCC said, “We received a tip-off from a whistleblower regarding the existence of a huge sum of cash in an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi. We were overwhelmed to see such a huge sum of money.
“We had to quickly notify officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria to come with counting machines. We have been counting the money all day and everything will be transferred to the CBN this night because we don’t have a vault that can store such a huge sum of money.
“I can tell you that the whistleblower policy is one of the best things the Federal Government has ever done to help the fight against corruption.”
Punch reports that the total cash recovery made by the EFCC in Lagos alone in the last five days sums up to N12,360,814,000 while the amount traced to private accounts sums up to N4bn.
In essence, the EFCC had made a recovery of about N16bn in the last five days due to the assistance of whistleblowers.
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