A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
Reuters

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos State of Nigeria on Tuesday ordered that the bank accounts belonging to two companies, A.M Projects Consultancy Ltd and Raznez Medical Consultants Ltd, be frozen over allegation of fraud.

The presiding vacation Judge Nicholas Oweibo granted the ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which was argued by its counsel.

Justice Oweibo granted the order enabling EFCC to instruct Zenith Bank Plc’s Managing Director to freeze the account numbered 1012364520 belonging to A.M Projects Consultancy and another account numbered 1014460309 belongin to Rabez Medical Consultant pending conclusion of investigation and the companies possible prosecution.

An EFCC operative, Gambo Salisu, in an affidavit sworn to averred that he was part of a team assigned to investigate a criminal complaint of obtaining N125million by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques levelled against the respondents.

According to him, the Anti graft agency, on March 1, received a criminal complaint from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc alleging obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheques against the two companies.

He said: “On the 18th May, 2012, the petitioner availed the respondents credit facility of N125milion for the purposes of financing Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Rural Free Medical Referral Scheme.

“The parties agreed the domiciliation of the proceeds of the project in the respondents’ account with the bank.

However contrary to the agreement, the respondents collected the proceeds of the NDDC Rural Free Medical Referral Scheme and diverted it to their personal use, and refused to give the bank its N125million till date despite several requests.

“Instead, the respondents issued to the petitioner cheques which were returned unpaid upon presentation.”

The court was urged to grant the application to enable the commission “carry out a thorough investigation into the activities of the respondents as it relates to the allegation of economic and financial crimes”.

EFCC added that “Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the funds therein to the Federal Government, there is no way the proceeds of this crime will be recovered.

“If this application is granted, it will preserve the res and abate further dissipation of the funds allegedly obtained fraudulently.”

Justice Oweibo acceded to the request of the EFCC.

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