A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the final forfeiture of property and cash, suspected proceeds of crime, linked to a 2015 Governorship aspirant in Kogi state, Air Vice Marshal Saliu Atawodi (rtd) and his wife, Winnie.
Justice Emeka Anwuli Chikere gave the judgement on Wednesday. The property measuring about 57933.69 square metres, controlled by Vector Integrated Services Limited, is located at No 3004 Cadastral Zone E05, Aviation Village District in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
The cash recovered are $228,428 and N120, 546,042.02. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted Atawodi. The anti-graft agency had filed an application pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No14, 2006.
Justice Chikere held that the EFCC proved beyond reasonable doubt that the property and said amount are proceeds of crime as defined by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011. The judge noted that, in the absence of any objection to the notice of interim forfeiture published for interested parties to show cause why the assets should not be finally forfeited, the property and cash now belong to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Atawodi was a former Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS).