Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the temporary forfeiture of N449, 750,000 found in an abandoned Bureau de Change shop on Victoria Island, Lagos.
He ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to advertise the order in a newspaper.
The judge said anybody interested in the money should report in court to justify ownership.
The interest party must appear before him within 14 days to show cause as to why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
An EFCC investigator, Moses Awolusi, in a supporting affidavit to a motion ex-parte, said the shop LS64 at Legico Shopping Plaza had not been opened for two years.
He said the money was found on April 7 in several “Ghana Must Go” bags.
The EFCC, he said, recovered it after investigating intelligence about Mohammed Tauheed.
According to the investigator, Tauheed allegedly conspired with the owner of the abandoned shop to launder the money.
Awolusi said Tauheed had earlier been brought to the EFCC office by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Legico shopping Plaza, Mr. Sulaiman Daba and Alhaji Ishaq Ayandiran.
Tauheed, he said, told the anti-graft agency that he received the money in cash from a serving government official, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons.
The operative said Tauheed agreed to return the money to federal government.
The EFCC said the money is strongly suspected to be proceeds of criminal activities.
After granting the order, Justice Aikawa adjourned the matter till May 19.