The Abuja division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, granted the request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Operational Account 0998552074, belonging to the Bauchi State government valued at N11.5 billion pending investigations on the matter.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who is sitting as a vacation judge, granted the motion exparte after listening to EFCC counsel, Abubakar Aliyu.
Aliyu had told the court that between May 24 and 28, 2019, the applicant received an intelligence that the then administration of Buachi State initiated a process of overdrawing to launder the sum of N19, 897. 809, 334. 08, property of the state government.
He said the bank account subject matter of the intelligence is the Bauchi State government operational account number 0998552074 domiciled at First City Monument Bank.
The EFCC counsel disclosed that “the actual amount in the said bank account is N11,500,000.000, which was paid to Bauchi State government by the Federal Government via the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In an affidavit deposed to by Yakubu Sani on July 22, 2019, the Commission averred that the “Bauchi State Accountant-General is one of the signatories that clears the said cheques and mandate for said suspicious payment and still remains a signatory to the said account under investigation.
“That based on intelligence received, attempts were being made to activate the withdrawal of such funds while still under investigation by current government of Bauchi state.
“That investigation has since commenced and the applicant deems it necessary to cause the said bank account and funds to be frozen pending the determination of the investigation therein.”
“ That freezing the said bank account and funds will greatly assist the applicants to get to the root of the matter and conclude its investigation timeously.
That deflating the said funds by way of withdrawal will greatly obstruct
the applicant from getting to the root of the matter and conclusion of the investigation timeously.
“That the applicant needs to obtain the order of this court to cause the freezing of the said bank account and the funds therein.
After listening to Aliyu, Justice Taiwo granted all the prayers and directed the commission to put the state on notice within 21 days.
Meanwhile, the court has adjourned further proceedings in the matter to September 3, 2019.