N8.5bn Fraud: Gen. Atewe Losses N293m, Lands To FG
The Federal High Court, Lagos today, ordered interim forfeiture of N293 million, six parcels of land and 30, 000 units of MTN shares recovered from a former Commander of the military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in the Niger Delta, Major-General Emmanuel Atewe (retd) to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The court presided over by Justice Mohammed Liman made an order of interim forfeiture of Major-General Atewe’s assets, following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC alleged that the assets were part of the proceeds of N8.5 billion which Atewe allegedly diverted from the military operation between September 5, 2014 and May 20, 2015.
The landed properties were identified as 50 hectares of farmland at Plot No. FL746B Gaube Farmland Extension II Layout, Kuje, Abuja; a piece of land located at Commercial Layout, Yenagoa Gardens, Bayelsa State; one hectare of land in Kuje District, Abuja; Plot No. CP10, Sector Centre B Layout, Kuje, Abuja; Plot MF62 Outer Northern Expressway Cadastral Zone, Abuja; Plot No. 1228 Jahi, Abuja; four hectares of land designated as Plot No.CP6386 and Plot No.CP6387, Sabon Lugbe, Abuja.
An investigating officer of the EFCC, Adamu Yusuf, said Atewe purchased the 30,000 MTN shares for N170,350 million.
EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that it would be in the interest of justice for the court to order the temporary forfeiture of the assets.
After listening to him, Justice Liman granted the prayers and ordered that the temporary forfeiture order be published in a national newspaper.
The judge adjourned till April 20, 2020, for anyone interested in the assets to appear before him to show reasons why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
The antigraft agency has since 2016 been prosecuting Atewe alongside a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi; Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga.
Both Major-General Atewe and Akpolobikemi were accused of conspiring to divert N8.5 billion belonging to the military Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta.