Oil Theft: Thirteen Barges, Tugboats Forfeited to FG

The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial  Crimes Commission, EFCC, on July 9, 2020 secured the final forfeiture of thirteen  barges and tugboats before Justice M.I.  Sani  of the Federal High Court sitting in Port  Harcourt, Rives State.

 The barges and tugboats were seized at  different times and places in the Niger Delta region by officers of the  Nigerian Navy NSS Pathfinder, for alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering  activities and handed over to the EFCC for further investigation.

Counsel  to the EFCC, E.K. Esin-Out who filed the motion on notice for the final forfeiture,


urged the court to order the final forfeiture of the assets to the Federal  government. The assets include Akimijoe

2006, Barge Chibuike, Barge Chris Marine, Barge Alibaba, Vessel MT Anton, Barge

Mudiaga V, and Barge A & E01. Others are two unnamed metal Barge, Barge

Kalama 205, Barge Grace Marine, Barge Mudiaga, MT Onne and Tugboat MV Papa George.

In the application, the EFCC counsel argued that “no cause has been shown as to why the properties under interim forfeiture since July 5, 2019  should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” as  they are “reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful

activities.”  Esin-Out, pointed out that the EFCC had complied with the order of  court to publish the interim forfeiture order in a national daily by doing so in The Nation Newspaper of July 15, 2019.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Sani granted the prayers contained  in the EFCC’s application.”That in pursuance of the interim order of the

forfeiture of this court dated 5th day of July, 2019 in Suit No. FHC/PH/MISC/76/2019 in respect of the Barges herein named as Respondents and listed in the schedule below. The said Barges (Respondents) are ordered forfeited  to the Federal Government of Nigeria”, the Judge ruled.

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