Court Backs EFCC To Freeze Ex-Naval Officer’s Accounts

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has on Wednesday granted permission to freeze the accounts of a retired naval officer, Admiral Tahir Yusuf. The presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu gave the order following an ex parte order filed by Mrs Elizabeth Alabi on behalf of the EFCC chairman.

“An order is hereby made granting the chairman of the EFCC or any officer of the commission, powers to instruct the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc or the Chief Compliance officer of Zenith Bank to issue a freezing order.  The freezing order is in respect to the accounts shown in the application until investigation into the matter is concluded.”

The judge made a similar order directing the managing director of Skye Bank to also issue a freezing order in respect to the same accounts in his bank. She further ordered that should investigations reveal a prima facie case against the respondent, the EFCC should take steps to prosecute appropriately as stipulated by law.

Earlier, Alabi informed the court that the commission received intelligence report with regards to some unusual transactions between the account of the Nigerian Navy and those of Yusuf. She said that upon investigation, it was discovered that huge sums of money were transferred from the navy’s account to the account of Yusuf and Babajide Oguntade, both retired officers of the navy.

“We discovered an inflow of about N2 billion into a joint account they had opened. On further investigation, we realized that the money had been spent. We also uncovered about seven accounts belonging to Yusuf with the bank and these are the accounts we want the court to freeze so we can conclude our investigation, “she said.

The counsel said that investigations were still on to unravel why monies were moved from the Nigerian Navy’s account into the individual accounts. Justice Ojukwu adjourned the matter until April 20, for counsel to report back. (NAN)

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