The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N1.8billion allegedly diverted fraudulently by a former Chief of Naval Staff, Dele Joseph Ezeoba. The court made an interim order forfeiting the N1,825,000,000 to the FG.
The order followed an application by EFCC, which said the money was traced to the account of a company, Aquila Leasing Limited. The commission said Ezeoba agreed in his statement to EFCC to forfeit the money.
“The money is proceed of crime fraudulently diverted from the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of Dele Joseph Ezeoba,” EFCC alleged.
It said Ezeoba allegedly used the name of Chukwuka Onwuchekwa to open a fraudulent account while he (Ezeoba) was the one who “truly” laundered the money. EFCC said the former Naval Chief stated in his statement that the account was opened with Onwuchekwa’s consent while he (Ezeoba) managed it.
“Neither the signature used in opening the account nor the drivers’ license used in opening the account is his,” the commission said.
According to EFCC, in a “desperate bid” to further disguise and conceal the illicit source of the funds, Ezeoba entered into a memorandum of understanding to buy Aquila’s shares from Onwucheka, who is the firm’s managing director.
It said the shares was worth N2, 378,000,000, out of which N1.8billion has been recovered in drafts in favour of the FG.