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Thursday, December 24, 2015

DasukiGate: Court Orders Banks To Freeze Accounts Of Suspects

Nigerian commercial banks have been directed to freeze the accounts of some suspects involved in the alleged N31billion Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) scandal.
The Nation reports that some companies, House of Representatives members as well as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chiefs are affected.
L-R: Some of the suspects: Bashir Yuguda, former minister of state for finance, Attahiru Bafarawa and Dasuki.
It was reported that the Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and others had perfected their bail conditions as at yesterday December 23.
Justice Peter Affen of a Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) also banned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from re-arresting Dasuki, ex-Minister Bashir Yuguda, ex- ONSA  Director of Finance, Shuaibu Salisu, Sagir Attahiru and ex-Governor Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa.
It was reported that the banks accounts where the slush funds were paid into has been asked to Post No Bill (PNB).
All the banks, where the accounts of those affected are domiciled, have been asked to Post No Bill (PNB).
According to a reliable source in the EFCC the PNB is limited to accounts where the slush funds were deposited and other traceable accounts.
He said: “We decided to place restriction as part of our ongoing investigation into the scandal. We have informed all relevant banks that we are probing some transactions relating to such accounts.
“Those affected are the accused persons and all those named as having benefited from the disbursement of funds. The list is longer than you have been reading about. On the list are companies, individuals serving as fronts, accused persons, PDP stalwarts, and some serving or former members of the House of Representatives.
“We want to be at an advantage where we can recover looted funds as may be determined by the court,” the source added.
Responding to a question, the source added that the restriction is in line with Section 34(1) (2) of the EFCC Act.
The statement reads:
“Notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment or law, the chairman of the commission or any officer authorized by him may, if satisfied that the money in the account of a person is made through the commission of an offence under this Act or any enactments specified under Section 6(2) (a)-(f) of this Act , apply to the Court for ex-parte power to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other appropriate regulatory agency to issue an order as specified in Form B of the Schedule to this Act, addressed to the manager of the bank or any person in control of the financial institution where the account is or believed by him to be or the head office of the bank or other financial institution to freeze the account.
“The Chairman of the commission or any officer authorised by him may by an order issued under sub-section (1) of this section or by any subsequent order, direct the bank or other financial institution to supply any information and produce books and documents relating to the account and to stop all outward payments, operations or transactions (including any bill of exchange) in respect of the account of the arrested person.
“The manager or any other person in control of the financial institution shall take necessary steps to comply with the requirements of the order made pursuant to sub-section(2) of this section.”
However, some of the affected suspects confirmed the restriction placed on their accounts.
One of the defence counsel said: “Our clients have been informed about the restriction of access to their accounts. I think the EFCC did so because it is still investigating some transactions.
“The commission also does not want them to withdraw what is left in those accounts.”
Also, a House of Representatives member who pleaded anonymity said: A member of the House of Representatives said: “I don’t have access to my account in which my salaries and allowances are being paid into.
“I did not benefit from any campaign funds. The N50million allegedly traced to my account was no slush fund at all; it was payment for a consultancy job, which was awarded through due process after the consideration of the feasibility study.
“The money for the service was paid after the election. I did not benefit from any campaign fund.  I don’t engage in dirty deals. I have a good reputation.”