A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the freezing of bank accounts belonging to two firms, A.M Projects Consultancy Ltd and Raznez Medical Consultants Ltd, over alleged fraud.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted an ex-parte originating summons by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which was moved by its counsel Kufre Uduak.
The judge granted the commission’s prayer for an order empowering it to instruct Zenith Bank Plc’s Managing Director to freeze the account numbered 1012364520 belonging to A.M Projects Consultancy pending conclusion of investigation and the firm’s possible prosecution.
He also granted a similar application over an account numbered 1014460309 belonging to Ranez Medical Consultants.
An EFCC operative, Gambo Salisu, in a supporting affidavit, said he is part of a team assigned to investigate a criminal complaint of obtaining N125million by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques against the respondents.
According to him, the commission, on March 1, received a criminal complaint from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc alleging obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques against the firms.
He said: “On May 18, 2012, the petitioner availed to the respondents credit facility of N125milion for the purposes of financing Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Rural Free Medical Referral Scheme.
“The parties agreed the domiciliation of proceeds of the project in the respondents’ account with the bank.
“Contrary to the agreement, the respondents collected the proceeds of the NDDC Rural Free Medical Referral Scheme and diverted it to their personal use, and refused to give the bank its N125million till date despite several requests.
“Instead, the respondents issued to the petitioner cheques which were returned unpaid upon presentation.”
Salisu urged the court to grant the application to enable the commission “carry out a thorough investigation into the activities of the respondents as it relates to the allegation of economic and financial crimes”.
EFCC added: “Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the funds therein to the Federal Government, there is no way that the proceeds of this crime will be recovered.
“If this application is granted, it will preserve the res and abate further dissipation of the funds allegedly obtained fraudulently.”