Fraud: Court orders seizure of undergraduate cars
The Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Wednesday granted an order for an interim forfeiture of three expensive cars belonging to a 28-year-old undergraduate, Lawrence Orimogunje.
Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo granted the order while ruling on an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which had charged Orimogunje with forgery and possession of false documents.
The affected cars are – a Nissan Infinity G35 with registration number EP150 ABJ, a Chrysler 300 with registration number OLD – 01 and a Range Rover Sport with registration number OLD-03.
In his ruling, the judge held that Orimogunje’s “lifestyle” was not commensurate with what he was earning as a student of Lead City University, Oyo State.
Lawal-Akapo said conclusive proof was therefore not needed for the order to be granted.
He said, “Sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act of 2004 empower the commission to confiscate any property suspected to have been acquired through fraudulent means.”
The judge consequently directed the EFCC to seize the cars pending the conclusion of the trial.
Moving the forfeiture application earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mrs. Anita Imo, said it was brought pursuant to Sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act.
Imo argued that the cars were acquired through suspected Internet fraud activities and urged the court to grant the forfeiture order.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Orimogunje was arraigned on February 15, on a 16-count charge of forgery and possession of false documents.
The EFCC said the accused was arrested on December 24, 2012 in Lagos for being in possession of various documents used for facilitating internet fraud.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted a N1 million bail, with two sureties in like sum.
The matter was adjourned till March 18 for trial.