The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been accused by three lawyers of trying to implicate former Lagos State governor Akinwumi Ambode by attempting to plant foreign currencies in his home.
But the EFCC has denied the allegation.
The lawyers, Fatai Adebanjo, Busari Olanrewaju, and Samson Okuneye said this in a joint statement on Tuesday, adding that the anti-graft operatives had attempted to search Mr Ambode’s Epe home without supervision.
The statement read, “We resisted as young lawyers and stated expressly that the principle of search is that the owner of the premises or his representatives must be present to observe the search,” read the statement jointly issued
“They succumbed to our superior argument and allowed us and the people who has the key to the ex-governor’s house into the apartment with them. Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in to effect the search.
“There was a blue bag which they were holding with them, we requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in. They got angry and said we cannot see the content. Having said that, we strongly resisted them to take it in since they cant allow us to see it, which they later agreed.
“We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the ex-governor to incriminate him.
“It is important to inform the public that before the entered the house, we all submitted our phones to them as they requested that the only person required to go in with phone is one of them who will record the whole process.”
They stated that no incriminating material was found in Mr Ambode’s home.
But in a statement Tuesday evening, the EFCC denied the allegation, explaining that an attempt by its operatives to search Mr Ambode’s home in Epe was resisted by hoodlums loyal to the governor.
It said, “The thugs attacked the operatives and vandalized their vehicle,” the commission said in the statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.
“The commission had obtained valid warrant to conduct search on Ambode’s residences in Park View, Ikoyi and country home in Epe, as part of ongoing investigation of alleged malfeasance,” Mr Uwujaren said.
“However, the commission’s operatives were attacked and prevented from executing the search warrant in Epe by irate youths who injured three officers and damaged EFCC official vehicle.
“The attack was totally unprovoked as the commission’s operatives were civic and did not molest anybody.
“The commission therefore frowns at the attempt to manipulate the video of the search to create the wrong impression that officers of the agency molested residents at the Epe home of the governor.
“It is also not true that the search was an attempt to plant foreign currencies in the home of the former governor.”
A Lagos federal high court had ordered the freezing of three bank accounts allegedly linked to the former governor over a N9.9 billion fraud.
Mr. Ambode denied having any personal link to the account and any wrongdoing.