A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja of Friday agreed to the final forfeiture of N5,734, 785,000 and eight houses located in Abuja to the Federal Government.
The money and houses were part of N6,584,785,000; $222,000 and N2,028,800,000 worth of shares in Aso Savings Limited, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claimed were proceeds of sale of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) allegedly diverted by some senior government officials during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
In court documents, the EFCC identified the senior government officials to include ex- Chief of Staff to Jonathan, Brig.-Gen. Arogbofa (retd), the ex-Accountant-General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla, who hails from ATISBO local government area of Oyo State and the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali.
Others were Robert Azibaola; former Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, Benjamin Dikki; and former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil.
In a ruling on Friday, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba agreed with a lawyer, Matthew Burkaa, that part of his clients’ legitimate earnings, funds allocated for execution of actual contracts and their assets were wrongly included in EFCC claim.
Burkaa’s clients – PJO Ventures Limited and Mrs. Cecilia Osipitan – were engaged for the payment of insurance entitlements for some ex-staff of PHCN, a project they were yet to fully execute when EFCC intervened shortly after the 2015 election.