The immediate past governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has distanced himself from the bank accounts frozen by a federal court last Tuesday over an alleged N9.9 billion fraud.
A federal judge had ordered the temporary freezing of the accounts, domiciled in Zenith Bank, Access Bank, and First City Monument Bank, following an exparte application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to the EFCC, N9.9 billion was paid from the state government’s accounts into the FCMB account opened on September 17, 2018, and operated by Adewale Adesanya, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Chief of Staff to Mr Ambode.
Mr Ambode served as governor between 2015 and 2019.
In a statement on Friday, the former governor said no account of his contained N9.9 billion let alone being frozen by the EFCC.
According to Mr Ambode, the accounts in question that were frozen by the Federal High Court belong to the Lagos State Government and not him or any individual.
“Those accounts were opened in the course of normal operations by the Lagos State Government for its administrative purposes and not for the former governor’s personal transactions as was being wrongly insinuated and have been operated to ensure smooth operations of government activities by previous and present administrations,” Mr Ambode said in the statement issued by his media aide, Habib Aruna.
”The former governor was not and will never be involved in any unauthorized use of government property and resources.
“We strongly believe that after four demanding years as Chief Executive of Lagos State, Mr Ambode is entitled to some deserved rest with his family and loved ones without the unwarranted attacks on his well-earned reputation.”
Mr Ambode said while he did not intend to join issues with the anti-corruption agency, especially as there had been no communication between them on the issue, it is pertinent to clarify what he believed was a misleading import of the press statement on Tuesday.
The statement added that the former governor believed that at this time in the nation’s polity, all hands must be on deck to support “our great Party the All Progressives Congress (APC) both at the State and national levels in order to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to Lagosians and Nigerians respectively.”