NDLEA Secures Final Forfeiture Of 111 Drug Dealers’ Vehicles

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) today, secured an order of a Lagos Federal High Court, for final forfeit of 111 vehicles and motorcycles abandoned by fleeing drug dealers.

The court also granted an order directing the agency to sale the forfeited vehicles and payment proceeds therefrom to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Ayokunle Faji, who presided over the court, granted the above orders, after listened to Barrister Abu Ibrahim, NDLEA lawyer, who moved the application for the orders.

In urging the court for the final forfeiture of the vehicles, Barrister Abu told the court that the orders sought for were pursuant to sections 44 (2)(B) of the Constitution of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria, 1999 (As Altered), Section 3 (1)(a)(c) Of the NDLEA Act N.30 Laws of the Federation Of Nigeria 2004, 

He also told the court that the request is pursuant to Sections 10 (1), (2)(3), 11, 13, 17 (1)(4) of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery And Management) Act, 2022, and under the court’s Inherent Jurisdiction, and under Section 6 (6) (a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, 1999.

The NDLEA lawyer also told the court that the grounds for the final forfeiture of the vehicles include: “that the court has the statutory and constitutional powers under the provisions of sections 10 (1), (2) & (3), sections 11, 13, 17 (1) & (4) of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 and section 44 (2) (B) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as altered) to grant the reliefs being sought. 

“That the publication of the preservation order was made at pages 8, 9 and 10 of the Daily Sun Newspapers of Tuesday, June 20, 2023 Vol. 18 No. 5257. 

“That the 14 days have elapsed since the publication of the preservative order. 

“That no one has indicated interest in any of the property subject to the preservatory order or given notice opposing the said preservatory order or has applied for the exclusion of his/her interest in the property subject to the preservatory order. 

“That the applicant must approach the court within 60 days of the making of the preservatory order for a forfeiture order, 

“That the said Motor Vehicles and cycles are now at various degree of deterioration in terms of quality and utility, with diminished value.”

The lawyer also moved the affidavit in support of final forfeiture order, deposed to by one Nnanna Alamezie, a litigation officer in the legal department of the agency.

In the affidavit, the deponent averred that on the 9th June, 2023 the Court made a preservative order in respect of the applicant’s Ex-parte concerning subject-matter of the said application. And that the enrolled order was published at pages 8, 9 & 10 of the Daily Sun Newspapers of Tuesday, June 20, 2023 Vol. 18 No. 5257. 

The deponent also stated that he was informed by the tounsel to the applicant Abu Ibrahim, in their office on July 13, 2023, that 14 days have elapsed since the publication of the preservative order. And that no one has indicated interest in any of the property subject to the preservatory order or given notice opposing the said preservatory order or has applied for the exclusion of his/her interest in the property subject to the preservatory order. 

The deponent also stated that the  applicant must approach the court within 60 days of the making of the preservatory order for a final forfeiture order. Adding that the said Motor Vehicles and cycles are now at various degree/state of deterioration in terms of quality and utility, with diminished value. 

He also averred that there is no proprietary right of anyone in the property sought to be forfeited. And that no one will be prejudiced by the grant of the application. 

Justice Faji after listening to the counsel’s submission, held that the reliefs Sought for are hereby granted  in accordance to Proceeds of Crime (Recovery And Management) Act (POCA) 2022.