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Nigeria News

Ambode And N9.9bn Story

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ElevateNews takes a look at the raid of the Epe residence of the former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode by the operatives of EFCC.

Much has not been heard about the frozen of the three bank accounts containing about N9.9 billion linked to the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

When the spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Tony Oriade broke the news through a press statement a few weeks ago, many admirers of the former governor quickly condemned the allegation.

To them, the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was only looking for a way to smear the image of Ambode because the former governor never wanted him in the position.

Recall that the former Chief Press Secretary to Ambode, Mr. Habib Haruna discredited the story, saying that the media had misled the members of the public and that his former boss had nothing to do with the accounts.

In the statement, Ambode was quoted to have said that the anti-graft agency never contacted him over the frozen account and that the accounts belonged to the State government but not him.

On Tuesday, the operatives of the EFCC were at the Epe residence of the former governor on a raid. It was gathered that the governor was not in the country when the operation was being carried out.

The EFCC spokesman, Oriade confirmed the raid, saying it was part of the investigation over the N9.9 billion allegation of fraud against the governor.

It was learnt that the money was actually traced to three accounts of the former governor but Ambode through his former aide countered that the money belonged to the State government and was meant to fund some of the projects awarded by his administration.

In any case, Ambode may be invited by the EFCC. This may explain why he was excluded from the ministerial list so that he could be investigated by the anti-graft agency.

There were various allegations of misappropriations over the establishment of Visionscape, the company responsible for the management of waste in Lagos under Ambode. It was gathered then that the governor had a bigger share in the company.

At present, Visionscape is moribund while the Private Public Participation, PPP idea of waste management introduced by his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has returned.

Ambode is paying the price for his anti-party activities. He garnered so many sympathisers towards the end of his tenure. He painted his successor Sanwo-Olu as a deranged person that lacked the capacity to lead the State.

With many of Ambode’s projects in the metropolis and his myriads of unrelenting sympathisers, one of the strategies the current government can use to reduce Ambode public rating is by revealing some of his atrocities while he was in government.

Sanwo-Olu must show that he is capable. He has to exceed the performance of Ambode to convince Lagosians that he has the capacity to build better Lagos. This is a sophisticated environment, where the residents easily judge the succeeding government by the performance of the past administration.

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