Three bank accounts belonging to the Lagos State Government were on Tuesday frozen by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The court placed a restriction on any transaction from the affected accounts by the state government or any of its agents.
The affected accounts are domiciled in First City Monument Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank.
Reason for suspension? Justice Chuka Obiozor gave the order after fraud charges were filed against the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to Governor of Lagos State, Adewale Adesanya.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a suit against Adesanya, who was accused of involvement in money laundering last year.
According to the EFCC, an FCMB bank account, which was opened on September 17, 2018 and operated by Adesanya, allegedly received the sum of N9.9 billion from the state accounts.
Supporting their request for the accounts to be frozen, the EFCC’s investigating team led by Kungmi Daniel, said the timing of the transfers showed the attempt by Adesanya and the other signatories to the account to fraudulently transfer funds from the state accounts.
The EFCC took the step after the matter was analysed and found it worthy of investigation. In order to close loopholes and prevent more fraudulent activities through the accounts, the EFCC filed an ex -parte motion to freeze the accounts.
This will also enable the anti-graft agency to temporarily take over the accounts pending conclusion of investigations on the matter.
“The trend is that the there is always huge inflow from Lagos State Government in the above-scheduled accounts managed by the respondent (Adesanya).”
“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 EFCC said.
After granting their request, the court adjourned further proceedings in the matter till August 9.
The affected accounts are – First City Monument Bank (5617984012/ Permanent Secretary, Chief of Staff, Access Bank ( 0060949275/Permanent Secretary, Chief of Staff and Zenith Bank ( 1011691254/ Permanent Secretary, Chief of Staff to Lagos Government, respectively.