By Victor Ernest
A whistleblower has alerted the Nigerian government of a fake Ecobank account with no signatories worth N8.4 billion.
It was gathered that the informant alerted the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation about strange deposits into the Ecobank account by some suspected government officials.
This has led to the involvement of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the investigation.
Though there were many deposits made into the fake bank account according to the whistleblower, the N8.4billion deposit was singled out for investigation in the interim.
The huge deposit has been traced to an Ecobank branch which is believed to have assisted the money launderers to convert the cash to dollars.
According to The Nation, there was suspicion last night that the cash may have been wired into some foreign accounts, but the government has filed an ex-parte motion to place it under temporary assets forfeiture.
However, a telecommunications company has reportedly gone to court, claiming ownership of the money.
A source involved in the investigation said the probe of the account by detectives showed that the funds were routed through the account of a telecoms giant but there was no disclosure of the signatories to the account.
”Also, the list of depositors into the account was unknown but the sequence of deposits was tracked by detectives,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the source confirmed that an ex-parte application had been filed at the Federal High Court 11 in Lagos, presided over by Justice Abdulazeez Anka, to recover the cash under temporary forfeiture.
The source further disclosed that the matter was coming up on 3 March for hearing.
Another source also privy to the investigation said the probe so far indicated that the cash paid into the account could be over N10billlion.
The source added that “Detectives stumbled on separate deposit of N5billion and N4billion. But investigation is at present concentrated on the recovery of N8.4billion, which was said to have been changed to dollars and possibly wired into some accounts abroad.