Nigeria: EFCC to Freeze Accounts Linked to Nigerian Student Abroad

16 August 2019

The Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze two bank accounts linked to a 26-year-old Nigerian student based abroad.

According to the EFCC's Counsel, Richard Dauda, in an exparte application number: FHC/ABJ/CS/921/2019, the commission is investigating a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) received from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) against the suspect, Mr Damilare Oluyemi.

"The investigation revealed that the suspect in the case under investigation is a student who was involved in suspicious transactions between May 11, 2018 and June 6, 2018 amounting to 133, 955. 00 dollars and 40, 000 pounds," he said.

He said investigation further revealed that the suspect had "substantial amount of funds in his Access Bank and Guarantee Trust Bank accounts which have not been touched.

"A copy of the statements of Access Bank and GTB of the suspect is attached and marked as Exhibit EFCC 1 and EFCC 2 respectively," he said.

Dauda told the court that all effort made to invite the major depositor, Lucy Otubo, has proved abortive.

He said available intelligence report suggested that Otubo had relocated to Turkey and frequently carried out transactions on these accounts.

The counsel said the commission had been making efforts to ensure that the fleeing suspect was tracked and possibly deported back to Nigeria to aid further investigation but efforts so far made had not yielded positive results.

He urged Justice Taiwo to grant the commission an order to freeze Oluyemi's accounts for a six-month period.

Justice Taiwo, however, held that granting a six-month period for freezing the accounts would be too long.

The judge, who ordered that the two bank accounts be frozen for 40 days pending the conclusion of the commission's investigation, said the owner of the accounts must be put on notice through his banks on the freezing order within 14 days.

He also held that the commission could seek for extension of the days if it was yet to conclude its investigation based on the order of the court.

The judge then adjourned till Oct. 4 for further hearing. (NAN)

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