Alleged N125m Fraud: Court Freezes Companies' Accounts

Image result for COURT LOGOJustice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 16, ordered the freezing of the sum of N125m belonging to two companies, A.M. Projects Consultancy Limited and Raznez Medical Consultants Limited.

Justice Oweibo gave the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, through its lawyer, Kufre Uduak.

The EFCC, in a supporting affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Gambo Salisu, stated that “On May 18, 2012, the petitioner, Guaranty Trust Bank, availed to the respondents a credit facility of N125milion for the purposes of financing the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Rural Free Medical Referral Scheme.

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

“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 Commission, therefore, urged the court to grant the application in order to enable it “carry out a thorough investigation into the activities of the respondents, as it relates to the allegation of economic and financial crimes. Without freezing the nominated accounts and temporarily forfeiting the funds therein to the Federal Government, there is no way that 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.”

In his ruling, Justice Oweibo granted the applicant's prayer for an order empowering it to instruct Zenith Bank Plc’s Managing Director to freeze the account number 1012364520 belonging to A.M Projects Consultancy pending the conclusion of investigation and the firm’s possible prosecution.

The Judge further granted a similar application over an account number 1014460309 belonging to Ranez Medical Consultants.

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