The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of $919, 202 to the federal government being proceeds from sale of a seized vessel.
The court specifically ordered Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, Port Harcourt branch to remit the money into the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) federal government recovery account with number: 0020122561028 domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
A copy of the order of the court to that effect cited at the Federal High Court Headquarters in Abuja, indicate that the money was lawfully kept in an interest yielding account with number: 0041443133 with Union Bank in Port Harcourt since 2014, when the seized vessel was sold on the order of court following the refusal of the owner of the vessel to show up for ownership claim.
A group of bunkerers had in 2014 abandoned the vessel loaded with stolen crude oil so as to escape the wrath of law in the economic sabotage related offences.
Following their refusal to show up to claim the vessel, a federal high court had ordered it to be sold off.
However, no one was said to have come up to lay claim to ownership of the vessel prompting the federal government to apply for forfeiture of the proceeds to it.
Justice Ibrahim Sani, while issuing the order following an application by the federal government, directed that the money be paid by Union Bank into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and that an affidavit of compliance must also be filed.