How Lagos Assembly Speaker, Obasa Used Tinubu’s Influence To Get Bank Accounts Unfrozen Amid Corruption Case –Sources

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The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa used President Bola Tinubu’s influence to get the court to unfreeze his bank accounts.

It had reported on October 8, 2020, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had obtained a court order granting the temporary forfeiture of three bank accounts belonging to Mr Obasa.

The court order was obtained from the Federal High Court, Lagos, on September 15, 2020, through an ex parte application in a suit marked FHC/LCS/1064/2020.

The bank accounts according to order were to be frozen pending an investigation by the EFCC.

In obtaining the order, the EFCC said the bank accounts were being investigated for conspiracy, diversion of funds, abuse of office, and money laundering.

However, on September 5, 2023, the anti-graft agency was reported to have withdrawn the alleged money laundering suit it filed at the Federal High Court against Obasa.

Although the EFCC did not give any particular reason for its application for withdrawal, it, however, referenced 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 judgment SaharaReporters obtained on Thursday shows that 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 in his judgment held thus: “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 and 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.”

However, sources in the agency told SaharaReporters on Thursday that Obasa used President Tinubu’s influence – being one of his stooges – to influence and intimidate the EFCC and the court to get a favourable judgment for the PND (Post No Debit) on his account to be lifted.

“After the arrest of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended EFCC chairman and the invasion of its Lagos office by the DSS (Department of State Services), the commission has been weakened and is now at the mercy of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” one of the sources said.

According to the source, the Lagos State Assembly Speaker used the opportunity to approach the court for the order to be lifted. 

One of the sources regretted that the anti-graft body dragged the case for too long, noting that after it had “investigated the case and frozen the account, the EFCC just refused to either charge Obasa to court or take further action to confiscate the money in the accounts”.

Credit: Sahara Reporter

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