Court Orders Freezing of Three Lagos Accounts Over Allged ‘N9.9bn Fraud’
A Federal High Court in Lagos, presided by Justice Chuka Obiozor has ordered the freezing of three bank accounts belonging to the state government over an alleged N9.9 billion fraud.
Obiozor, ordered the suspension of the bank accounts following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The accounts are domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Access Bank, and Zenith Bank with numbers 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254 respectively.
The EFCC had prayed the court to freeze the accounts pending the conclusion of an investigation and possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, permanent secretary in the office of the chief of staff to the governor of the state, for money laundering.
Kungmi Daniel, a member of the EFCC investigating team, said the anti-graft agency 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 Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of the state.
He said the account was operated by Adesanya.
Daniel said the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and the other signatories to the account made “fraudulent transfers” from the accounts of the government and misspent the funds.
“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),” Daniel said.
He said the EFCC analysed evidence gathered and found it worthy of investigation.
The EFCC, therefore, 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,” the anti-graft agency said.
“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 case was adjourned till August 9 for further proceedings.
On Monday, a federal high court sitting in Abuja had also granted the EFCC’s prayer to freeze the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) account of the Bauchi state government.