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Court Freezes N9.9bn Accounts Linked To Ambode

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the freezing of three bank accounts allegedly belonging to the Lagos State Government over alleged N9.9bn fraud.

The accounts domiciled in First City Monument Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank are numbered 5617984012, 0060949275 and 1011691254, respectively.

Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered the “suspension” of the 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 investigations and possible prosecution of the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Lagos State, Adewale Adesanya, for money laundering.

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 Akinwunmi Ambode administration 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 Lagos State Government and dissipated the funds in the said accounts.

“The trend in the account is that the account always witnessed a huge inflow from Lagos State Government into the above-scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya),” the investigator said.

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

The EFCC prayed the court to grant them an order to temporarily take over the accounts to enable them to conclude their investigations.

The EFCC said, “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.”

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

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

The EFCC later on Tuesday issued a statement saying they had secured a freezing order by the court on an account allegedly linked to Ambode.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported in June that loyalists of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, were dragging Ambode to the EFCC for investigation.

A spokesman for the EFCC, Tony Orilade, said in a statement titled, ‘EFCC Secures Freezing Order on Accounts Linked to Ex-Gov. Ambode over Alleged N9.9bn Fraud’, said Justice Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday ordered the freezing of the sum of N9.9bn belonging to the Lagos State Government.

The money was domiciled in First City Monument Bank account number 5617984012; Access Bank account number 0060949275 and Zenith Bank account number 1011691254, respectively, according to the statement.

A source, however, told one of the correspondents that the accounts had nothing to do with Ambode.

“It is a mischief. The bank accounts are not the former governor’s personal accounts; they belong to the Lagos State Government and were used by the previous and present administrations for state administrative purposes,” the source added.

Ex-Chief Press Secretary to Ambode, Habib Haruna, did not take his calls, which rang out several times.

A text message requesting his response to the allegations was also not replied to as of the time of filing this report.

 

 

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Court Orders Forfeiture Of 23 Properties Linked To Former Pension Reform Boss Abdulrasheed Maina

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An Abuja Federal High Court on Tuesday ordered a temporary forfeiture of 23 properties linked to Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT.

Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo gave the order while ruling on a motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wherein, it prayed the court to order the temporary forfeiture of the properties linked to Maina.

EFCC also sought an order of the court to publish an advert on the properties in a national daily, to enable anyone who has any reason why they should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government to come forward and prove the same.

The anti-graft agency supported its motion by a 30-paragraph affidavit which is brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Money Laundering Act.

Ruling on the matter, the trial judge granted the prayers of the anti-graft agency.

Justice Ogunbanjo also ordered the anti-graft agency to return to the court on November 19, for the mention of the case.

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Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes November 16 For Fresh Kogi West Senatorial Election

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The fresh Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on November 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye and Adeyemi INEC, in a statement, signed Mr. Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for November 30.

“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said. He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on February 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

The Appeal Court, on October 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates. Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns. “We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,” he said.

Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.

He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.

He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on October 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between October 24 and November 6.

According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is November 8.

“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is November 15, while campaigns will end on November 28,” he said.

(Vanguard)

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BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured

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Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.

The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.

Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.

However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.

“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”

She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.

However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.

He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.

He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”

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