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Court defers ruling on freezing of bank accounts of former HoS, Oyo-Ita, others by EFCC

Head of federal service Oyo-Ita hospitalized after grilling by EFCC over N3bn scam

A Federal High Court Abuja has adjourned ruling on the freezing of the account of a former Head of Service (HoS), Winifred Oyo-Ita by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo adjourned ruling on the matter on Tuesday, during the continuation of the trial of the former HoS.

The court fixed December 3, 2020 to rule on the propriety or otherwise of the order freezing the accounts of Oyo-Ita and other defendants in the matter, which the EFCC secured in a different court.

The freeze order which the EFCC obtained from Justice Mojisola Giwa-Ogubanjo of a Federal High Court, Abuja became a contentious issue following objections to it by the defence team, which felt it constituted abuse of court process.

A.C. Ananukwa and Chitoo Veronica Nbanor, who are counsel to the fourth, fifth and sixth defendants further told the court that their clients could not make an appearance in court today because their accounts had been frozen, leaving them and their families high and dry.

They, therefore, requested the court to mandate the EFCC to unfreeze the accounts.

READ ALSO: EFCC arraigns Ex-HoS Oyo-Ita, accuses her of receiving kickbacks, illegal estacodes

Though the prosecution counsel, M.S. Abubakar opposed the defence’s application for adjournment, saying that it ran against Section 3 and 6 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and contrary to Section 19, 2c of EFCC Act 2004 and Section 20 (3) of the Money Laundering Act of 2011 as amended, upon which this case was filed, the judge adjourned further proceedings in the case, saying he needed time to study the arguments of the prosecution on the frozen accounts to make his ruling.

Oyo-Ita is facing prosecution on18-count charge of official corruption and money laundering to the tune of N570 million, involving, obtaining of estacodes and duty travel allowance, (DTA) for journeys either not undertaken or non-existent.

In the same boat with her are Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar and his companies: Slopes International Limited and Gooddeal Investments Limited.

Others are Ubong Okon Effiok and his companies, U & U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

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