A Federal High Court, Abuja, has vacated the interim order, directing that about N1.4billion in an Access Bank account, belonging to late Chief Dike Udensi be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The forfeiture suit was filed by the Federal Government’s, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, headed by Mr Okoi Obno-Obla.
In her ruling, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, said that in view of the absence of the whistle-blower to substantiate his claims, “the order of interim forfeiture granted on April 10, is hereby vacated and subsequently struck out.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that a motion challenging the forfeiture order, was filed by Mr Mike Orjiako, counsel to the respondent.
Orjiako led other counsel, which included Henry Iheanacho, Orjiako Precious and Orjiako Unique-Mike for the respondents.
Orjiako, after the ruling, said that the whistle-blower be charged to court because the reputation of Dike Udensi’s family had been smeared, maligned and disparaged before the public.
The applicant`s counsel, Celsius Ukpong, had earlier told the court to vacate the order, adding that the whistle-blower had gone underground and had failed to give correct information to substantiate his claims.
He had claimed that the amount in question was proceeds from oil bunkering.
The court had directed that a report of settlement be reached by the both parties and should be filed before the court on June 12.
Mr Ukpong had earlier informed the court that the presidential panel could not produce a report of settlement involving the parties contrary to the court directives.
Ukpong also pleaded with the court to withdraw the matter since the whistle-blower who informed the government about the cash had gone underground.
He also informed the court that the matter was generated by a family feud which the investigation panel did not intend to pursue.