By Sandra Umeh
Lagos – A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered interim freezing of N88.5 million recovered from three suspects pending investigation.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed an ex parte application before Justice Saliu Saidu, seeking an interim attachment of the money.
Joined as respondents in a suit filed are Osanyinbi Oluwaseun, Olawoye Abolade, and Emmanuel Kazeem.
The sums were said to be warehoused in accounts of First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and Ecobank.
The EFCC, in its motion argued by Mr George Chia-Yakua, urged the court to order interim attachment of the sums, pending the conclusion of investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.
In a supporting affidavit, Oghare Ogbole, an investigative officer in the Special Task Force of the agency, said her agency is currently investigating a case of “suspicious transactions” against the suspects which was received through an intelligence report.
The deponent stated that after analysing the report, it was found worthy of investigation as it was discovered that the respondents were arrested sometime in 2015 for the offence of identity theft and wire fraud allegedly committed in the United States between 2013 and 2015.
The deponent also averred that investigations revealed that the first respondent, Osanyinibi Oluwaseun, laundered part of the monies through his mother’s account in GTB.
Ogbole also stated that as part of its investigation, the commission wrote several letters of investigation to the commercial banks to place a “post no-debit” on the accounts and ascertain the veracity of some information gathered in the course of investigation.
The commission argues that the interim order is necessary to prevent a dissipation of the funds before the conclusion of investigations.
After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice Saidu ordered an interim freezing of the sums in the commercial banks pending conclusion of investigations and possible prosecution of the suspects.(NAN)