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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Whistle-blower exposes N8.4b in an unclaimed bank account


Detectives at EFCC and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, are trying to find the owner of an account which has N8.4billion in it. The bank account has no signatories but a huge deposit made into the account has been traced to a bank which is believed to have assisted the money launderers, who own the account, to convert the cash to dollars.

They think the cash may have been wired into some foreign accounts, but the government has filed an ex parte motion to place it under temporary assets forfeiture.

Despite the fact that the account has no signatories, a telecommunications company has gone to court to claim the money.

This account was discovered when a whistle-blower alerted the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation,  to strange deposits that were being made into the ECOBANK account by some suspected government officials.

Out of the several deposits made, about N8.4billion was singled out for investigation.
According to The Nation, a source involved in the investigation said:

“A whistle-blower alerted the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, leading to the involvement of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) in the investigation.
“The probe of the account by detectives showed that the funds were routed through the account of a telecoms giant but there was no disclosure of the signatories to the account. “Also, the list of depositors into the account was unknown but the sequence of deposits was tracked by detectives.”

The source confirmed that an ex -parte application had been filed at the Federal High Court 11 in Lagos, presided over by Justice Abdulazeez Anka, to recover the cash that has been temporary seized.
The matter is in Court and will come up on March 3 for hearing.

The Federal Government hired two lawyers, Mr. John Samuel Opeyemi and Mr. Oluwafemi O. Aweda, to recover the said funds.

Another source involved in the investigation said:
The source added:

“Detectives stumbled on separate deposit of N5billion and N4billion. But investigation is at present concentrated on the recovery of N8.4billion, which was changed to dollars and probably wired into some accounts abroad. 
“A telecommunications giant has approached the court to claim the ownership of the cash. 
“We have been demanding for the list of signatories to this account but it is yet to be provided".
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