A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered the freezing of three bank accounts allegedly linked to the Lagos State government and former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, over an alleged N9.9 billion fraud.
Chuka Obiozor, the judge, ordered the temporary freezing of the accounts, domiciled in Zenith Bank, Access Bank, and First City Monument Bank, following an exparte application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to the EFCC, N9.9 billion was paid from the state government’s accounts into the FCMB account opened on September 17, 2018, and operated by Adewale Adesanya, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to Mr Ambode.
The anti-graft commission urged the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of their investigation and possible prosecution of Mr Adesanya.
In an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application, Kungmi Daniel, a member of the EFCC investigating team, said the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Mr Adesanya and the other signatories to the account made fraudulent fund transfers into the account from the accounts of the Lagos State Government.
“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 the commission received an intelligence on the transfers, 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,” the EFCC 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 judge, after listening to the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abbas, ordered the “suspension” of the accounts and adjourned till August 9.