By Ogaga Ariemu
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has ordered the final forfeiture to the Federal Government of N120 million traced to a primary school teacher, Mrs. Roseline Egbuha, and her accomplices, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
This was contained in a statement by the Commssion’s Spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua released to Nigerian NewsDirect on Thursday.
The forfeited money, as well as cars, form part of the N540 million proceeds of crime traced to Mrs. Egbuha, a teacher with Ozala Primary School, Abagana, Anambra State.
The teacher who was on a monthly salary of N76,000 as at the time of her arrest in 2020 by ICPC, had N540 million stashed in her bank account with Guaranty Trust Bank.
Further investigations by ICPC revealed her alleged complicity in money laundering thereby prompting the Commission to place a Post-No-Debit (PND) on the account.
However, the PND was lifted by Egbuha and her accomplices with a court order purportedly from a Federal High Court, Abuja, and the money promptly split and moved into multiple bank accounts owned by Bureau de Change operators and private individuals.
The accomplices – one James Erebouye, Emon Okune, Chisom Iwueke, Alonge Ojo, Maureen Chidimma, Owoyemi Mayowa and Ejeaka Ifeoma, including two private companies, were charged to court for involving in fraudulent activities and warehousing proceeds of crime by the Commission.
Counsel to ICPC, Adesina Raheem, in a motion exparte filed in 2021 before Justice D. U. Okorowo, alleged that the funds were proceeds of unlawful activities stashed away in six new generation banks by Egbuha and her associates. He prayed the court to order the final forfeiture of the money and cars to the Federal Government.
Justice Okorowo, after taking arguments from counsel to ICPC and the respondents, ruled that monies found in seven individual bank accounts and that of two private companies and the items, should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The forfeiture order includes N30.8 million in a Polaris Bank account of Dorason Construction Ltd, N17.4 million traced to a Sterling Bank account of James Erebouye and N16.4 million found in the Zenith Bank account of Dybako and Sons Nig Ltd.
Another accomplice, Ojo Alonge will also forfeit to the Federal Government, N14.1 million traced to two separate accounts with First Bank and Ecobank respectively. Owoyemi Mayowa on her part forfeited N7.1 million held in Zenith Bank.
Furthermore, the final forfeiture order includes the sum of N8.2 million, N9.7 million, N6.5 million and N122,100 kept in different bank accounts, by Emon Okune, Chisom Iwueke, Maureen Chidimma and Ejeaka Ifeoma respectively.
Other items forfeited by the respondents are a Toyota Lexus and Venza sport utility vehicles.