A federal high court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, granted the prayer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) operational account number: 0998552074 of the Bauchi state government.
Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, urged the EFCC to put the party concern on notice of the order within 21 days.
The EFCC, through Abubakar Aliyu, its counsel, sought the order of the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation by the commission.
The state government currently has about N11 billion (N11,500,000 000 00) in the bank account.
The judge ordered the EFCC to, within 21 days, notify the state government and the FCMB about the court’s decision.
The judge, however, adjourned the hearing till September 3.
Earlier, counsel to the EFCC, told the judge that the commission was investigating a money laundering case in which the account featured prominently.
He said many non-existent companies were used to transfer funds from the account.
“My Lord, about N19.8 billion cheques were raised on the eve of transferring power to the new government for purportedly non-existent contracts and other grants,” he said.
He told Taiwo that the amount was beyond the N11 billion in the account
According to him, the accountant general was still a signatory to the account and they were still trying to access the money.
When the judge asked if freezing the FCMB account would not affect the operation of the state government, Aliyu said the action would not affect the government’s operation because the account was not the one linked to federal Account allocation committee (FAAC).
“They have other accounts and we have tagged this as exhibit 22 and 23,” he said.
Responding to the judge’s question on how long the investigation would take, the counsel said: “My Lord, investigation is like a pregnant activity. If My Lord will give us 21 days, we will be grateful.”