Court Freezes Lagos Govt’s Account Over Alleged N3bn Fraud By Officials

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has frozen a bank account belonging to the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority.

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode

The account was frozen over an alleged N3 billion fraud by officials of the agency.

Justice Mohammed Idris made the freezing order on Monday following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge said the account would remain frozen pending the conclusion of EFCC’s investigation into the alleged N3 billion fraud.

The freezing order also affected 32 other bank accounts belonging to companies, which were allegedly used to divert the N3 billion from the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority.

In an affidavit attached to the ex parte application, the EFCC said its preliminary investigation revealed that the funds were diverted while Mr Folorunsho Coker was the Managing Director of the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority.

The companies whose accounts were also frozen include a law firm, Rimi and Partners, which, the EFCC said, has Coker’s wife, Mrs. Aisha Rimi, as the sole proprietor.

Others companies whose accounts were frozen are Ekosina Investment Limited; SW Properties Limited; Imira Trade and Global Services Limited; Lofty Investment Nigeria Limited; Pure Technical Services Limited; and Cablepoint Limited.

An investigator of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, who deposed to an affidavit in support of the ex parte application, said the probe into the alleged N3billion was informed by an intelligence received sometime in 2017 by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

According to him, the intelligence was to the effect that there were suspicious transactions on the account of Rimi and Partners, as there were “heavy inflows in excess of N3billion from the Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority,” into the account.

Sadiq said an investigation by the EFCC revealed that Rimi and Partners had 10 bank accounts with one of the new generation banks.

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