The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has sought a permanent forfeiture to the Federal Government of large sums of cash linked to Mr Moses Jitoboh, former aide-de-camp to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The EFCC, through its lawyer, Christopher Mshelia, is making the application before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Jitoboh, currently a DIG of Police in charge of South South Zone, was ADC to Jonathan when he was Vice President to late President Umaru Yar’Adua between 2007 and 2010.
The anti-graft agency is seeking the permanent forfeiture of the monies stashed in seven bank accounts following the expiration of the interim forfeiture order made by Justice Nwite on July 22, 2022.
The judge had granted the order for interim forfeiture of the funds, giving 14 days for interested parties to show cause why the assets should not be forfeited to the Federal Government permanently and adjourned until Oct. 27, 2022, for mention.
The order followed an ex-parte originating motion marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1150/2022, which was moved by EFCC’s lawyer, Christopher Mshelia.
But in a motion on notice dated and filed on Dec. 13, 2022, by Chief P.H. Ogbole, SAN, two companies allegedly owned by Jitoboh, Keniah Nigeria Ltd and Golie Investment Nigeria Ltd, sought to be joined as interested parties.
Ogbole, who prayed for a court order extending the time within which to file their affidavit to show cause against the order of interim forfeiture made on July 22, 2022, also sought an order deeming their affidavit to show cause already filed as having been properly filed and served, the necessary filing fees having been duly assessed and paid.
Giving the four grounds upon which the application was brought, the senior lawyer said though a 14-day period was given within which interested parties should show cause and the matter adjourned until Oct. 27, 2022 for mention, his clients got to know of the existence of the order of interim forfeiture after the time allowed to show cause had elapsed.
Ogbole, who said that the court had the discretionary power to extend the time, prayed the court to grant the application in the interest of justice.
Although the matter came up for hearing on Monday, the court did not sit as the Federal HightCourt had commenced its Easter vacation which would last till April 17.
The matter, which was on number 4 on Monday’s cause list, was subsequently rescheduled for June 6.
While the EFCC is the applicant, Jitoboh and Inspector Bernard Agada are 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.