EFCC stands down money laundering suit against Lagos Speaker

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has withdrawn the alleged money laundering suit it filed at the Federal High Court  against Lagos Speaker Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa.

The agency did not give any particular reason for its application for withdrawal. It did, however, reference the Constitution and the EFCC Act.

Following the agency’s withdrawal of the suit, Justice Nicholas Oweibo discharged the ‘lien/Post No Debit’ placed on Obasa’s three accounts in Standard Chartered Bank.

The accounts are (US Dollars) 0001852063; (Current) 0001852056 and (Saving) 5002309624.

The judge also set aside the ex-parte orders he made on September 15, 2020, which led to the freezing of the accounts.

The court on September 15, 2020, granted an interim order freezing Obasa’s accounts following the EFCC’s application in a suit marked FHC/LCS/1064/2020.

The agency had said it was investigating the Speaker for the alleged offences of conspiracy, diversion of funds, abuse of office and money laundering.

But Justice Oweibo, on August 16, 2023, heard the application to unfreeze the accounts in his chamber.

During the hearing, the EFCC was represented by Mr. Sulaiman I. Sulaiman, while Obasa was represented by Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN).

The EFCC lawyer told the court that the application to unfreeze the accounts was pursuant to Section 44(2)(K) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Sections 26, 29 and 34 (1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004, and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.
Section 44 of the Constitution concerns constitutional rights to property.
Justice Oweibo held: “It is hereby ordered that an order is hereby granted to the respondent/applicant setting aside the ex-parte orders of this court made on the 15th day of September 2020 upon the ex-parte motion of the Applicant/ Respondent in relation the funds of the Respondent/Applicant domiciled in the accounts stated in the following schedule:
“ACCOUNT NAME, FINANCIAL ACCOUNT INSTITUTIONS, TYPE OF ACCOUNT, 1. Mudasiru Ajayi Obasa, Standard Chartered, (US Dollars) 0001852063 2. Mudasiru Ajayi Obasa, Standard Chartered (Current) 0001852056 3. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Standard Chartered (Saving) 5002309624.
“Issued at Lagos, under the seal of this Honourable Court and by the hands of the Presiding Judge this 16th day of August 2023.”

(Nation)

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