FORMER Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode has been spared a visit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after an irate mob in his home city of Epe chased the operatives away earlier today.
Governor Ambode is facing the prospect of prosecution by anti-graft authorities after a Lagos federal high court ordered the freezing of N9.9bn ($27.3m) belonging to the state government that was amassed under his watch. In its application, the EFCC had asked the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of investigations and the possible prosecution of Adewale Adesanya, the permanent secretary in the office of the chief of staff to Governor Ambode.
After the cash was frozen, the EFCC stepped up its probing of the matter and today, operatives decided to search Governor Ambode’s Epe home as part of the investigations. They visited the former governor’s country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence with warrants to conduct a search but at Epe they were confronted by an angry mob, forcing to officers to flee.
However, Governor Ambode has issued a statement saying that there was no cause for alarm over the search of his residence by EFCC operatives. Habib Aruna, the former governor’s spokesman, urged his supporters and the general public to remain calm and law-abiding, adding that the EFCC has not made any direct communication with Governor Ambode on any issue.
In an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, Governor Ambode maintained that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the commission. According to Mr Aruna, Governor Ambode was ready and willing to respond if or when EFCC summons him.
Mr Aruna added: “This morning, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise, the operatives left without any incident.
“The former governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond. The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”