Nigeria: EFCC Secures Final Forfeiture of N827.6 Million From NDDC Contractors

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the final forfeiture of N827.7 million from two companies identified as contractors with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The companies are Flank Power Resources Limited and GMFD Ventures Limited.

In a statement on Monday signed by its spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, the EFCC said Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos gave the order on June 29.

The EFCC had secured the interim forfeiture of the money on June 8.

"After we got the interim forfeiture from the court of the said amount for corrupt practices, the court-mandated us (EFCC) to publish it on national newspapers within 14 days," Mr Oyewole said later in a phone interview with PREMIUM TIMES while explaining the grounds for the final forfeiture.

"If anyone has an objection to the ownership of the properties, he should come up before it is being forfeited to the government. So after 14 days, nobody came up. The court then granted a final for forfeiture," he added.

He said the order followed an affidavit asking the court for the forfeiture of the sum to the federal government of Nigeria, being proceeds of unlawful activity, traced to some contractors' accounts with Zenith Bank.

In recent weeks, a lot of controversies had emerged around the NDDC.

The two chambers of the National Assembly had, a few weeks ago, held investigative hearings on allegations of corruption in the commission.

Due to criticisms of the operations of the commission, President Muhammadu Buhari had, in 2019, ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the organisation from 2001 to 2019.

NDDC is saddled with the responsibility of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

One of the core mandates of the commission is to train and educate the youth of the region to curb hostilities and militancy while developing key infrastructure to promote diversification and productivity.

Breakdown of recoveries

"A breakdown of the recovery shows that N616, 679, 098.32 (Six Hundred and Sixteen Million, Six Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand, Ninety-Eight Naira, Thirty-Two Kobo) was recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited, while N211million (Two Hundred and Eleven Million Naira) was recovered from GMFD Ventures Limited.

"It was discovered that between 2018 and 2019, Flank Power Resources Limited received the funds from the NDDC, through its account number:1015642852, while GMFD received through account number: 1014657819 both of which are domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc for desilting contracts which aside from being inflated, were not executed but diverted and laundered.

"The sum of N616, 679, 098.32 recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited was facilitated through 62 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the EFCC Recovered Funds Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, while the N211million from GMFD came through 22 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the same account," the EFCC said.

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