Ex-Naval chief forfeits N1.8 billion to Nigerian govt

Dele Ezeoba [Photo: Channels TV]

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N1.8 billion allegedly diverted from the coffers of the Nigerian Navy by a former Chief of Naval Staff, Dele Ezeoba.

The court gave the forfeiture order following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, pursuant to Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act 2006.

Joined in the suit as defendants are Chukwuka Onwuchekwa and Aquila Leasing Ltd.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Ezeoba, a retired admiral, headed the Navy between 2012 and 2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, said the money was traced to the account of Aquila Leasing Ltd, adding that Mr. Ezeoba had agreed in his statement to the EFCC to forfeit the money.

“The money is proceeds of crime fraudulently diverted from the Nigerian Navy under the leadership of Dele Joseph Ezeoba,” he alleged.

He said Mr. Ezeoba used the name of “Chukwuka Onwuchekwa” to open a fraudulent account while laundering the money.

The EFCC said the former Naval Chief stated in his statement that the account was opened with Onwuchekwa’s consent while he (Ezeoba) managed it.

“Neither the signature nor the driver’s license used in opening the account was his (Ezeoba).”

The commission said in a “desperate bid” to further disguise and conceal the illicit source of the funds, Mr. Ezeoba entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to buy Aquila’s shares from Onwuchekwa, who is the managing director.

The shares were worth N2. 4 billion out of which N1.8 billion has been recovered in drafts in favour of the Federal Government.

The lawyer said that the order of the court was required to forfeit the sum of N1.8 billion to the Federal Government of Nigeria as the sum “is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of an unlawful activity.”

In granting the application, Justice Muslim Hassan directed the EFCC to notify the defendants in whose possession the money is to report in court and show cause within 14 days why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The case has been adjourned to March 29.



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  • El Patron

    We are making progress slowly but surely

    • Pure Reasoning


    • llama

      Not sir, there is no progress, until the culprits are thrown in jail.

  • DTaj

    Imagine! The former Chief of Naval Staff has agreed to forfeit N1.8 billion out of the several billions he stole under Jonathan!

    Every service chief who served under Goodluck Jonathan was irredeemably corrupt! All of them!

    Almost every Minister who served under Goodluck Jonathan was irredeemably corrupt!

    Almost every Executive Secretary/DG/CEO/ED of parastatals who served under Goodluck Jonathan was irredeemably corrupt!

    And someone said Goodluck Jonathan was (is) a saint??? When will Jonathan be called to question? Or has “arangee Presidential Amnesty” been signed with the Clueless One?

  • marig

    And the rogues in the senate refused to confirm Magu

  • JJ

    When is he going to jail? And what about the remaining N600m?

  • Shahokaya

    Only God knows how much was stolen under Jonathan, the first Phd holder to rule Nigeria.

    • dave jacob

      Uniport was asked to produce details of the GEJ PHD, the university did not respond to inquiries in that regard.

  • PolyGon2013

    Sai Buhari.

  • haba Mallam

    Give an Igbo man a position and he will clean the treasury dry to build mansion in his village shamelessly.
    Biafraud followers OTILE and co you dey listen

    • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

      The last time I checked, abacha was an Ibo man, even danjuma, yakubu, even dasuki, even amosu, even bade etc.

      • Julius

        Last I checked, no Igbo man dey commit fraud and if they do, na Tinubu fault…abi

    • Netanyahu

      Who is this goat too? When did Dele Ezeoba become Ibo, because he fraudulently used Ibo name to open an account for money laundering? So all the dasuki, bade, adigun etc have become Ibos. Thunder fire your mother’s teeth. Aturu.

      • Julius

        Moron, that’s his name. He was an officer in the Navy unless you are saying that he fraudulently used that name to enlist in the Navy. Can’t you even think for a second ?

  • Our creature, please save Nigeria from evil Nigerian’s in power.

    Sai Baba
    Sai Baba
    Sai Baba

  • Ohnigeria Godsavenigeria

    The question patriotic citizens are asking is whether the conditions that made it possible for Amosu, Bade, danjuma, abacha, dasuki, yakubu, tafa balogun, former customs DG Diko,etc to steal so much money from their agencies have been undermined or is it the case of hunting down those who did not contribute to my aspirations and confiscating their loot while those who supported me are free to do their own bazaar.
    Only time shall tell.

    • Jay

      Do you understand what TSA and BVN is all about and what led to the easy tracing of all the missing funds you have been hearing about? Do you know what the whistleblower policy can also do to the minds of potential looters of such huge funds?

  • Africa

    Yet the idiots Senators refused to confirm Magu! Why can’t we march to protest this instead of criticizing a government trying to rid the country of corruption.

  • Douglas Obasogie

    The vultures in the Senate don’t want to confirm magu they know the moment he is confirmed as chairman they will be in trouble because of what they hidden, if it’s possible for president buhari to use veto power just like the way bush did in Iraq matter so let him do and forget those enemy of progress.

  • Sonny Martin

    Strange. An agency can overrule a president?

    • Julius

      Yes, a regulatory agency can if the order or the direction from the president is illegal. The president in turn can fire the director or the chairman/woman of the agency.

  • Good job EFCC. News of convictions will be even more assuring.

  • Igwe Bu Ike

    The money will be returned to the government for another criminal in military uniform or civilian cloths to pick???