$9.3m scandal: Lawyers back interim seizure order in S’ Africa

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Some Nigerian lawyers have backed a reported order by a South African court freezing the $9.3m smuggled into the country by two Nigerians and an Isreali in a private jet pending criminal investigation on the matter.

The lawyers who include the Chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Yinka Farounbi; Mr. Festus Keyamo and Mr. Fred Agbaje, however, described the development as an embarrassment to Nigeria and its citizens.

Also, the Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran, and a former Chairman of the Ikeja branch of NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani, also backed the move by the South African court.

Ubani said the Federal Government owed Nigerians explanation on the scandal.

The money was seized in Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital, after being allegedly smuggled into the country in an aircraft, belonging to a Nigerian company in which the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejeafor, has interest.

The money was said to be meant for the procurement of arms for intelligence agencies in Nigeria.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority said in a statement sent to one of our correspondents on Thursday, that its asset forfeiture unit had obtained “an order in the North Gauteng High Court freezing a cash amount of US$9.34m (about R102m).”

Keyamo described the court order as appropriate.

“The order is appropriate. The South African authority has the right to conduct its investigation into the alleged money laundering case,” he said.

Farounbi said, “The order is very much in order. I give kudos to the South African government.”


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