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Lagos Court Orders Interim Forfeiture of Obasa’s Accounts

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A federal high court in Lagos has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) its motion seeking a temporary forfeiture of funds traced to Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos State’s House of Assembly.

Sources told Lagos Times that Mr Obasa, a powerful Agege politician, who is closely associated with the All Progressives’ Congress’ National Leader and former Lagos governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is being investigated for several offences bordering on fraud, criminal malfeasance, corrupt enrichment, larceny and money laundering.

The EFCC in a motion dated August 12, 2020 and marked FHC/L/CS/1069/2020, asked the court to issue an order directing that the funds in three bank accounts be forfeited in the interim.

According to the EFCC, the three bank accounts are “being investigated for the offences of conspiracy, diversion of funds, abuse of office and money laundering”. All three accounts which carried the name of the defendant are domiciled in Standard Chartered Bank.

While one of the accounts (001852963) is a domiciliary account, the other two (001852956 and 5002349821) are naira current and savings accounts respectively. After hearing the application filed by S.I Sulieman, counsel to the EFCC, the court ruled in favour of the commission on September 15, 2020. The EFCC confirmed that Obasa was at the agency’s office for questioning.

Mr Obasa has repeatedly been accused of embezzling public funds and abuse of office. The investigative news website Sahara Reporters first reported that the EFCC had begun investigating the speaker, who has been accused of using his office to misappropriate funds and allocate contracts to himself through third party sources, as well as acquaintances.

Mr Obasa did not respond to a request for comment from Lagos Times.

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