A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Wednesday, ordered that the total sum of N88 million link to three suspected fraudsters, be temporary forfeited to the Federal Government.

The three suspected fraudsters, listed as Defendants in ex-parte application filed before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are: Osanyinbi Oluwaseun Temitope, Olawoye Oluwamuyiwa Abolade, Kaseem Oluwatosin Emmanuel.

The said sums were warehoused in First Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTB) and Ecobank Plc.

The EFCC in the application with suit number FHC/L/CS/693/18, argued by its lawyer, George Chi-Yakua, urged the court to freeze the monies pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution of the suspected fraudsters.

In urging the court for the temporary forfeiture order, EFCC attached an affidavit deposed to by Oghare Ogbole, a female investigation officer, with the Special Task Force (STF) of the agency.

In the affidavit, the Deponent stated that her agency is currently investigating a case of suspicious transaction received through an intelligence report against the suspected fraudsters.

The Deponent also stated that after analysing, examined and found worthy of the investigation, as the respondents were arrested in 2015 of the offence of identity theft and wire fraud committed in United State of America (USA), between 2013 to 2015 and during which period maintained accounts with the banks stated above.

The deponent also averred that investigation revealed that the first Respondent, Osanyinibi Oluwaseun laundered part of the monies through his mother’s account numbers 481/476599/1/3005/0, Osanyinibi Titilayo Gbemisola, domiciled in GTB.

Ogbole also stated that as part of investigation activities, EFCC wrote several letters of investigation to several institutions who were involved in the transaction like GTB, First Bank Plc, and Ecobank, to place Post No Debit and ascertain the veracity of some information gathered in the course of investigation as one of strategy to apprehend any suspect.

The deponent states that if the application is not granted and the respective banks go ahead to release the money obtained by fraudulent means, it will jeopardise the expedient of investigation and possible prosecution of the suspected fraudsters.

Justice Saidu, after listening to the submission of the EFCC lawyer, Chi-Yakua, empowered the anti-graft agency to order the management of GTB, First Bank and Ecobank Plc, where the sum of N88, 452, 846. 11 million, belonging to the suspected fraudsters domiciled, to freeze it pending the conclusion and determination of the suit.

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