….recovered from dismissed corporal, E-Money
A Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State, has granted an order of interim forfeiture of 13 buildings, 13 vehicles and N100 million, which operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) recovered from an alleged kidnapper, late Collins Ezenwa, otherwise known as E-Money.
The items were confiscated from E-money, a police corporal, killed during an exchange of gunfire with policemen attached to the Imo State Police Command in January 2018. The court further ordered that any person who has interest or any property belonging to E-Money in their possessions, should appear before it within the next 30 days to state reasons why the property should not be forfeited. At least, 13 buildings, 10 cars, two tippers, a truck and three AK-47 rifles were recovered from the late kidnap kingpin after operatives of IRT, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, took over investigations of the activities of the late suspect.
E-Money, a dismissed police corporal, was alleged to have terrorised residents of Imo, Abia, Enugu and Rivers states for long, before his death in 2018, when he was further alleged to have attempted to kidnap a South African based businessman in Owerri, Imo State. According to investigations, E-Money acquired several choice properties, including a hotel in Enugu and buildings in Abia and Imo states. Investigators believed that he acquired those items through proceeds of crimes. Four of his buildings, including the hotel, were confiscated in Enugu State, while seven others in Owerri and Okigwe areas of Imo State were also confiscated as well as another located at Aba, Abia State. The Federal High Court Owerri was asked by the police authorities to grant it an order of forfeiture on the properties since they were believed to have been acquired from proceeds of crimes. The presiding judge, T.G Ringim, in his ruling, asked that the Nigeria Police should take full management of the properties, including the sum of N100 million recovered from his fixed deposit account pending the conclusion of the matter.
The ruling in part stated: “That the buildings, cars and monies belonging to persons listed in schedule 1, 2, 3 of the application filed before the court which showed that the confiscated properties, were reasonably suspected to be proceed of unlawful activities currently under investigation and possible prosecution shall be temporally forfeited and managed by the police pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of persons in connection with the case herein. “Anyone who is interested in the properties sought to be forfeited, should appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 30 days why the final order of forfeiture will not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria and managed by the Nigeria Police Force.”