The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen three bank accounts reportedly linked to Ex-Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
The order to freeze the accounts came following an ex-parte application filed by the anti-graft commission. The EFCC asked the court to compel the banks to freeze the accounts pending the conclusion of the investigation.
The 3 accounts domiciled in three different banks are; 5617984012, First City Monument Bank; 0060949275, Access Bank; and 1011691254, Zenith Bank.
The EFCC in a statement issued on Tuesday revealed that Justice Chuka Obiozor of an Ikoyi Federal High Court ordered the freezing of the accounts which had previously contained N9.9billion allegedly belonging to the Government of Lagos State.
As at the time of publishing this report however, only about N300million is reportedly left in the accounts. The accounts were operated by Adewale Adesanya, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to Ambode.
The Ex-Lagos Governor lost his re-election bid in 2019.
Ambode is one of the APC chieftains who are currently under investigation following the expiration of their tenures as governors of their respective states. Others are; Ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State whose schools were sealed by the anti-graft; the second was Ex-Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State whose Talata Mafara’s residence was raided by the EFCC; and Ex-Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State who is under investigation for an alleged N19.9billion money laundering.
Read below, the statement issued by EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, (as obtained by Naija Buzz News);
EFCC Secures Freezing Order on Accounts Linked to Ex-Gov. Ambode over Alleged N9.9bn Fraud
Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, ordered the freezing of the sum of three accounts belonging to the Lagos State government over alleged N9.9 billion fraud.
The funds are domiciled in First City Monument Bank, FCMB, account number 5617984012; Access Bank account number 0060949275 and Zenith Bank account number 1011691254, respectively.
Only about N300 million are now left in the three accounts.
Justice Chuka Obiozor gave the order, following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The EFCC had prayed the court to freeze the account 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.
The applicant, EFCC, in an affidavit deposed to by Kungmi Daniel, an operative of the Commission, stated that there was “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 the immediate past governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, and operated by Adesanya.
It was further stated that the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and 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.
In his submission, counsel to the EFCC, Mohammed Abbas, said “The trend in the account is that the account always witnessed huge inflow from Lagos State Government in the above scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya)”.
Abbas, therefore, prayed the court to grant an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it conclude its investigations.
“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,” he further told the court.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor granted the prayers of the counsel to the Commission.
The Judge adjourned further proceedings to September 9, 2019.
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.