Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary freezing of three accounts belonging to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa.
The order was pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which is investigating the Speaker for alleged fraud.
According to the court papers obtained by Sahara Reporters marked FHC/L/CS/1069/2020, Obasa’s three accounts with Standard Chartered Bank are under restriction pending the conclusion of the substantive probe.
They include: a United States Dollar account marked 001852963; a current account with number 0018552956 and a savings account with number – 5002349821.
The order which was signed by the court’s registrar, Adebimpe Oni, was made on September 15, 2020.
The anti-graft agency said it filed the matter “Pursuant to section 44 (2) (K) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and section 26, 29, and 34 (1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004, and under the inherent jurisdiction of this honourable court.”
Obasa has been in the custody of the EFCC responding to allegations of fraud.
The Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told our correspondent that Obasa was invited and he honoured the invitation on Thursday.
“He was invited, not arrested. He is responding to questions,” Uwujaren said.
Obasa, who is a two-time Speaker of the House, has been facing several allegations of corruption.
The Speaker had some months ago appeared before the House panel of enquiry on the corruption allegations levelled against him.
While Obasa denied most of the allegations, he admitted that N80m as estacode was approved for the training of the wives of 20 lawmakers in Dubai.
“We gave N4m to each of the participants for air tickets, hotels, feedings and local travel. Air ticket to Dubai alone costs about N2m. Some of these allegations were raised for a crusade to get the Speaker out of office.
“The House of Assembly is above common standard of excellence and we have to train people, and this comes at a cost. Learning is not cheap and I have never collected N80m for estacode at a go before,” he said.
The House committee subsequently cleared him which sparked protests among several anti-corruption groups