EFCC Freezes N126b In 120 Accounts

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen over N126billion in the accounts of some suspects in order not to jeopardize investigations, the agency said yesterday.

More than 120 bank accounts are affected by the freeze order.

About  N126,563,481,095.43 was temporarily seized by the EFCC pending the conclusion of corruption-related cases.

Other cash and assets under Interim Forfeiture is $9,090,243,920.15, seized from suspects facing trial or under investigation.

Apart from freezing of N32.8 billion from six suspects implicated in the Police Pension Office, some high profile suspects  with accounts among the over 120 frozen include ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Col.  Sambo Dasuki (retd),  ex-Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; ex- Chiefs of Air Staff Air Marshals Adesola Amosu and Mohammed Dikko Umar; Robert Azibaola( ex-President Jonathan’s cousin) and ex-Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode, among others.

The action of the EFCC has generated criticisms, with most suspects claiming that the freeze was prejudicial.

But the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, said the anti-graft agency was not being vindictive.

The statement said: “In recent times, a lot of interest has been generated by the action of the Commission in freezing the accounts of suspects that were investigated or are currently being investigated. Some commentators have tended to ascribe vindictive motives to this action

“In order to prevent misinformation, it is imperative to explain the reason behind the Commission’s actions in this regard.

“Freezing of accounts suspected of being used for commission of financial crimes is a mandatory investigative step backed by law. Indeed, Section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act 2004 empowers the Commission to freeze any account suspected of being used for financial crimes.

The section stipulates that “the Chairman of the Commission or any officer authorised by him may, if satisfied that the money in the account of a person is made through the commission of an offence under this Act or any enactment specified under Section 6(2) (a)-(f) of this Act, apply to the court ex-parte for power to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other appropriate authority to freeze the account”.

“Similar provision in the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2012 (as amended) also empowers the EFCC Chairman or his representatives to place a stop order on any account or transaction suspected to be involved in any crime.

“The intendment of these provisions is to ensure that the Commission safeguards suspected proceeds of crime pending the completion of its investigation. It is without prejudice to the social standing of the holder of such accounts or whether they are individual, corporate or government accounts.

“Freezing orders are incidental to investigation and doing otherwise will jeopardise the prospects of recovering stolen assets.”

Credit: Nation

Court Freezes Neymar’s $50m Assets

Brazilian authorities have blocked assets of Barcelona star Neymar, including a yacht, a jet and several properties worth almost $50 million. A Sao Paulo federal court rejected an appeal from the Brazilian striker last week and started issuing warrants to freeze the assets worth 192 million reals (almost $50 million), Brazilian media reported on Monday.

Last year, Neymar, his family and related businesses were found guilty of evading 63 million reals in taxes (almost $16ay. million) between 2011 and 2013 when he was playing for Brazilian club Santos. He has denied any wrongdoing. The 23-year-old Neymar used the jet to travel to Brazil for World Cup qualifying matches and holidays.

Iagaro Jung Martins, an auditor with Brazil’s federal tax agency, told The Associated Press that Neymar isn’t likely to go to jail if he pays what regulators say he owes. “He can still appeal that decision, but it is a step forward,” Martins told the AP. “Nothing changed to what was in place last year: if he pays what he owes, the case is closed. Our legislation isn’t too harsh.” The assets seizure is the latest in a streak of bad news for the Brazilian star off the pitch.

Credit: vanguardngr

FG Freezes INEC’s Accounts Over Non-Compliance To TSA

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,  has frozen all bank accounts operated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, following the commission’s failure to comply with Federal Government’s directive that all ministries, agencies and departments must operate Treasury Single Account, TSA.

The commission is now cash strapped and is unable to discharge most of its responsibilities.

Informed sources at the commission had revealed that INEC had failed to comply with the government’s directives on the TSA, due largely to the peculiar activities of the body as the nation’s electoral umpire which should qualify it for exemption from the new directive.

It was further gathered that the decision of the governments to freeze all accounts operated by INEC has thrown the body in a serious dilemma because even the staff salary for September is yet to be paid just as many contractors whose outstanding fees were yet to be paid on a daily basis throng the commission for their payments.

Read More: vanguardngr

Court Freezes Plateau, Benue Accounts Over Unpaid Salaries

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the freezing of accounts belonging to Benue and Plateau states in Skye Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank of Nigeria and First City Monument Bank Plc over their alleged refusal to pay state workers.

Reports provide that Justice Ademola Adeniyi gave the order on Monday while ruling on two ex-parte applications filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).  Both states are owing workers several months wages.