As the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, intensified probe into the N9.9bn fraud rocking the administration of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, officials of the commission have stormed the Lagos State Treasury Office, STO, for more findings.
EFCC officials stormed the STO last Wednesday to search for vital documents that will aide its investigation.
A government source confided in our reporter that the unscheduled visit of the EFCC sent panic and fears among STO staff
Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, had last Tuesday, ordered the freezing of N9.9bn in four bank accounts linked with an aide of former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The EFCC said only N300 million remains in the accounts.
The funds are domiciled in First City Monument Bank, FCMB, account number 5617984012; Access Bank account number 0060949275 and Zenith Bank account number 1011691254, respectively.
Obiozor had given the order, following an ex-parte application filed by the EFCC.
The EFCC had prayed the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of the investigation and possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The applicant, EFCC, in an affidavit deposed to by Kungmi Daniel, an operative of the Commission, stated that there was “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 the past governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, and operated by Adesanya.
It was further stated that the schedule of the FCMB account showed how Adesanya and 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.
In his submission, counsel to the EFCC, Mohammed Abbas, said: “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)”.
Abbas, therefore, prayed the court to grant an order to temporarily attach and take over the accounts to enable it 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,” he further told the court.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor granted the prayers of the counsel to the Commission.