Court Freezes Lawyer’s Account Over Alleged N40M Fraud
A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday, freeze the account of a Lagos-based lawyer, Laitan Fawehinmi, over alleged N40 million fraud.
Justice Ibrahim Buba, ordered the freezing of the lawyer’s account number 0001172227 domiciled with Standard Chartered Bank, while granting an ex-parte application marked FHC/L/CS/1920/17, filed against the lawyer by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC through its lawyer, Mr. Murtala Usman, had asked the court for an order empowering its executive chairman or any of its officers to instruct the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank to freeze the lawyer’s account pending the conclusion of investigations on the alleged fraud.
The EFCC in an affidavit in support of the originating summons, deposed to by Abdulrahman Ajigbotosho, an investigator with the anti-graft agency, stated that his team, Land Property Fraud Unit (LPFU), received a petition dated October 18, 2017 from Emollient Law Practice, on behalf of K-Solaring Investiment Limited against the defendant.
The investigator averred that in the said petition, the lawyer was alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N40 million from K-Solaring Investiment Limited, under the pretence of having authority and mandate to sell a plot of land lying and situated at Abijo, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos state.
It was further stated that relying on the lawyer’s representation, the complainant forwarded the sum of N40 million on April 25, 2017, to the law firm of Laitan Fawehinmi and Co., in accordance with the instruction of the defendant.
The deponent further stated that after the money had been paid, the defendant failed to put the complainant in possession of the said property. And upon conducting due diligence, it was discovered that the property is subject to serious dispute, and the defendant is not the director in the company of Crown Investment, yet he executed the document.
The investigator also stated that at the commencement of investigation, it was discovered that the account number in the scheduled was traced to the lawyer, who was the recipient of the money allegedly obtained under false pretence.
The deponent therefore urged the court to grant the application, pending conclusion of the investigation by the Commission on the allegation.
Justice Buba, after listened to the submission of EFCC lawyer, Murtala Usman, ordered the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank in the interim to freeze account number 0001172227, with account name Laitan Fawehinmi, pending the conclusion of investigations on the alleged fraud.