EFCC on Ambode’s trail, court freezes N9.9 bn FCMB account traced to aide

Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have started probing the tenure of the immediate past governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode as the agency on Tuesday approached a Federal High Court, Lagos where it secured an interim order to freeze three bank accounts belonging to the Permanent Secretary that served in the office of his Chief of Staff, Mr Adewale Adesanya.

The agency is probing an alleged fraud of N9.9bn. The three bank accounts, domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB)and other two banks with account numbers 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, respectively were frozen.

Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered the “suspension” of the bank accounts following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC had prayed the judge to freeze the accounts pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution of the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to former Governor Ambode, Adewale Adesanya.

In an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, a member of the EFCC investigating team, Kungmi Daniel, said 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.

Daniel said 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.

“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),” the investigator said.

He said upon the receipt of intelligence, the EFCC analysed it and found it worthy of investigation.

The EFCC prayed the court to grant it an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it to 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,” the EFCC said.

After listening to submission by the EFCC lawyer, Mohammed Abbas, Justice Obiozor granted the prayers.

He adjourned further proceedings in the matter till August 9, 2019.


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