N9.9bn: Ambode in biggest trouble ever; Aso Rock, Tinubu abandon him

August 7, 2019
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After losing re-election—because he fell out with his maker and APC leader Bola Tinubu—and missing a federal appointment, former Gov Akinwunmi Ambode’s political career practically came to a screeching halt.

Many had concluded he would be left alone, and the blitz of misfortune would stop. .

But no—it has been pouring on him since.

The EFCC has just traced N9.9bn in Lagos state account to him and his Chief of Staff Adewale Adesanya.

No surprise.

The state APC only made good their threat to expose the ex-governor to the EFCC, a threat that likely made President Muhammadu Buhari weed out Ambode from his cabinet nominee list—because the former governor was among the Aso Rock blue-eyed boys many thought would made the cut.

Ambode had actually sought refuge at Aso Rock when Tinubu  and the APC turned against him in Lagos.  Te chances were probably favourable he would have a toe-hold there, as he was all over Buhari during the presidential campaign.

Had it panned out well, the EFCC handlers at the presidency would have found a soft landing for him when the financial rot in the one-term administration came into the open..

As the first of Lagos former governors to be snuffed out by the anti-graft agencies, Ambode, a political orphan, now has a lot to grapple it when the matter gets to court.

First off, Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the freezing of the sum the bank account.

Justice Obiozor gave the order on Tuesday 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 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, and was operated by Adesanya.

Daniel also explained 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 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 told the court.

The judge adjourned proceedings to September 9.

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