Missing N19.8bn: EFCC begins probe of ex-Bauchi governor, freezes state’s bank account

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured a court order to freeze the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) operational account number: 0998552074 of the Bauchi state government.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Federal High Court gave the ruling on Monday, in response to a request by Abubakar Aliyu, EFCC counsel, asking 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.

Earlier, Aliyu told the judge that the commission was investigating a money laundering case in which the account featured prominently.

“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.

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He added that 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.

The judge ordered the EFCC to, within 21 days, notify the state government and the FCMB about the court’s decision, and adjourned the hearing till September 3.

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