Court Places No Debit Order On Accounts Belonging To Lagos Govt. Over N9.9b Fraud - THE LIVING GUIDE

Court Places No Debit Order On Accounts Belonging To Lagos Govt. Over N9.9b Fraud

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Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday placed a no debit order on three bank accounts belonging to the Lagos State Government pending the conclusion of a N9.9 billion alleged fraud investigation being conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the accounts.

Justice Obiozor gave the order that the accounts domiciled in First City Monument Bank, Access Bank Plc., and Zenith Bank Plc., numbered 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, respectively be temporarily frozen, after listening to ex parte application moved by the anti-graft agency.

The judge, who is sitting as a vacation judge, had also fixed August 9 for further hearing in the matter. 

The EFCC had urged the court 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 Akinwunmi Ambode, Adewale Adesanya.

The Commission averred in an affidavit attached to the ex parte application and deposed  to by a member of its investigating team, Kungmi Daniel, that it 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 claimed that the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and the other signatories to the account made fraudulent transfers from the accounts of the Lagos State Government and dissipated the funds housed in the said accounts.

He alleged, “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 further stated upon the receipt of intelligence, the EFCC analysed it and found it worthy of investigation.

The anti-graft agency therefore asked 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 Commission maintained.

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