The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Monday said it had seized $919,202.07 (about N450 million) hidden in a bank account by some court officials.
It said the cash was kept in an interest-yielding account by some officials of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in 2014.
A statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka C. Ogugua, said: “Acting on a petition instituted against some officials of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt for alleged corrupt practices, the ICPC has obtained an Interim Forfeiture Order on $919,202.07 (approximately N450 million) fraudulently hidden in a bank account.
“Investigators in the Rivers State office of the commission traced the money that had been hidden in an interest-yielding account by officials of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt since 2014.
“On discovery of the hidden money, the ICPC, through its lawyer, Dr. Agada Akogwu, filed an ex parte motion for an Interim Order of Forfeiture of the money.
“In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Sani of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, granted the commission’s prayers for interim forfeiture of the said sum, pending the final hearing on the matter.
“The judge further ruled that the ‘orders of the court directing the interim forfeiture shall be published in any daily newspaper within 14 working days for any person interested in the said property sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause why the final forfeiture orders be not made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria’.
“The matter was adjourned till December 14, 2020 for reports and final forfeiture hearing.”