Confusion enveloped the purported raid of the houses of the immediate past governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, by the Economic Crimes and Financial Commission, (EFCC), yesterday.
While the former governor confirmed the raid on his houses in Lagos, the EFCC initially denied it.
In a statement issued by Habib Aruna, his media aide, the Ambode insisted and even said he was willing to respond to any correspondence from the anti-graft agency.
“It was Ambode’s chief of staff house that was raided nor Ambode. It wasn’t Ambode’s house we went to raid,” Magu said when he responded to questions from journalists on the sideline of the the presidential retreat for ministers-designate, federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries, holding at the State House Conference Centre.
He maintained that his Epe and Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos houses were searched.
The statement read: “This morning (yesterday), operatives of 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.”
Ambode, who reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have served the state diligently and conscientiously.
The former governor assured his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.
The ex-governor, who insisted that those accounts being referred to were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government, added that under his administration, no account of his contained N9.9 billion let alone being frozen by the commission.
After initial denial, the commission made a U-turn and accused the former governor of unleashing hoodlum on its official.
A statement by Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity said the attempt by operatives to execute a search warrant on the residence of Ambode was resisted by hoodlums loyal to the governor.
“The thugs attacked the Operatives and vandalized their vehicle. 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.
“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 also denied that there was an attempt to plant foreign currencies in the home of the former governor.
Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lanre Issa-Onilu, defended the EFCC.
“There are no sacred cows” he told an online portal yesterday afternoon.
“It is about time we knew that the APC government is not joking with its commitment to fight corruption in whatever form it is. This government has demonstrated that there are no sacred cows.
“The naysayer can continue to say what they like but they must be ashamed of themselves by now, knowing that on daily basis, the anti-corruption agencies are proving them wrong,” Issa-Onilu said.
When asked if the party was in support of the move against Mr Ambode, he said: “We are not specific about any issue. The fight against corruption is our own policy and there are no sacred cows. We just hope that the allegation against former governor Ambode is not true. If true, this APC government will not bend the rule for any personalities.”
He maintained that corruption fight is the “cardinal principle of the APC.”