A Nigerian judge, Margaret Igbeta, who retired as president of the Benue state Customary Court of Appeal, opened an account 11 years ago at Ecobank, in the name of her maid and saved N870million($2.4million) during the period.
Her bulging bank account understandably drew the attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which has rushed to the Federal High Court in Abuja for the interim forfeiture of N840 million left in the account.
Igbeta is being accused by ICPC investigators of opening an account in the name of her housemaid, Theodora Atsu on the 5th of March, 2008, with an initial deposit of N8 million.
Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, spokesman of the commission said Monday night: “The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has requested a Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the interim forfeiture of N840 million traced to a retired President of the Benue State Customary Court of Appeal, Mrs. Margaret Igbeta.
“The Commission, in an ex-parte motion filed at the court, said that the order would stop Mrs. Igbeta from accessing the money alleged to have been obtained through fraudulent activities in the course of her official duties.
“ICPC noted that the request for the interim forfeiture is pursuant to Section 48 (1), (2) and (3) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Section 6 (6)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
“The retired President of the Customary Court of Appeal was accused of operating a proxy fixed deposit account in the name of her maid, one Theodora Atsu, with Ecobank Plc, where she accumulated N870, 321, 492.15 between 2008 and 2019.
“She was said to have opened the account with her passport and the name of Atsu on the 5th of March, 2008, with an initial deposit of N8 million.
“She subsequently made several other huge deposits including N123, 745, 925.57 and N5 million, in the months of March and May, 2008.
“It was also noted by the Commission that the money was far above her legitimate earnings both as a judge and President of the Customary Court of Appeal within the period that the account was operated and would have used to meet the infrastructural needs of the citizens and development of the nation.
“ICPC therefore prayed the court to grant the order in the interest of the nation.”