Amid viral reports that it raided the residence of former Lagos Governor, Akinwumi Ambrose, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has denied that such an event took place on Tuesday.
Curiously, the EFCC did not deny it raided the home of Ambode’s former Chief of Staff whose home is also in the Epe area, like that of his former principal. The viral reports had said the EFCC first raided his home before proceeding to Ambode’s.
There were reports, and even a trending video, of residents of Epe going gaga to prevent the raiding of its prominent son’s home. The video showed EFCC operatives shooting into the air as they escaped the mob.
The viral videos and posts on social media below:
Admitting it had been inundated with calls that operatives of the Commission raided the residence of the former governor, but insisted that it did not raid Ambode’s house.
In a statement by its spokesman, Tony Orilade, EFCC said, “It is instructive that his administration, like other former governors is under investigation, since they no longer constitutionally enjoy immunity against prosecution.
“The Commission hereby states with high sense of responsibility that the operatives did not raid Ambode’s residence.
“Whatever the Commission is presently doing with regards to the investigation is in line with its mandate and the rule of law.
“We wish to inform the social media to be circumspect in the reportage of any news with regards to investigation activities of the Commission.
“As a tradition, the Commission does not carry out investigation on the pages of the newspapers or through the media. Our operations are always covert until at a time when we file charges in court.
“Therefore, the attempt to cast the Commission in a bad light is unacceptable as the EFCC will never engage in illegal act. We remain committed to the war against corruption”.
Two weeks ago, Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, ordered the freezing of the sum of N9.9bn belonging to the Lagos State government.
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.
Justice Chuka Obiozor gave the order, following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The EFCC had prayed the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of 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 immediate 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 transfer 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.
The Judge adjourned further proceedings to September 9, 2019.