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Alleged N9.9bn Fraud: Freeze FCMB, 2 Other Bank Accounts Owned By Lagos State Government, Court Orders EFCC

FORMER LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR, AKINWUNMI AMBODE 

BY FRANCIS IWUCHUKWU, LAGOS 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was on Tuesday (today) ordered to freeze three bank accounts said to belong to the Lagos State Government over an alleged fraud to the tune of N9.9 billion.

The order came through Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, who specifically directed that the three bank accounts, domiciled in First City Monument Bank, FCMB, alongside two other new generation banks numbered 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, be seized.

The judge arrived at the decision consequent upon an ex-parte application instituted by the Commission.

The anti-graft agency had urged the court to free the accounts pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to former Governor  Akinwunmi Ambode.

In the ex-parte application, a member of the EFCC investigating team, Kungmi Daniel, explained that the commission discovered “a huge inflow of N9,927,714,443.29” from the state accounts into an FCMB bank account opened on September 17, 2018 during the administration of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode and operated by Adesanya.

The investigator argued that the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and the other signatories to the account made fraudulent transfer from the accounts of the Lagos State Government and dissipated the funds housed in the said accounts.

Daniel added that the trend in the account was that the account always witnessed huge inflow from Lagos State Government in the above scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya), adding upon receipt of intelligence, the EFCC analysed it and found it worthy of investigation.

The Commission therefore prayed the judge to issue an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it to conclude its investigations.

The EFCC said, “There have been concerted efforts and attempts to dissipate the contents of the accounts listed in the schedule to this application.

“Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the money to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is no way the fraud being perpetrated using the scheduled accounts can be stopped.”

Justice Obiozor thereafter granted the prayers and adjourned further proceedings in the matter until bAugust 9, 2019.

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