Following extensive investigations which began over three months ago, strong indications have emerged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced interrogation of Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA) over alleged cases of misappropriation and abuse of office involving siphoning of hundreds of millions of naira belonging to LSHA. Obasa is being interrogated for misappropriating funds meant for projects and legislative operations and acquisition property located in Lagos and abroad through illicit funds estimated to be several millions of naira. Credible sources at the EFCC claimed Obasa arrived at the Lagos Office of the anti-graft agency on Thursday, 8th October to face panel of interrogators who understandably will confront him with evidence of misappropriation and outright stealing through multiple bank personal accounts as well as other bank account linked to his companies and network of cronies including a lady believed to be his personal assistant. The lady is believed to have served as channel through which huge sums of funds belonging to the LSHA were laundered for acquisition of property abroad.
Popular online media Sahara Reporters had in series of publications detailed the sleaze involving Obasa, members of his family and cronies whom Obasa awarded questionable contracts on behalf of LSHA and who in turn served as agents of his numerous corrupt dealings. As member and subsequently Speaker of LSHA, Obasa operated over 60 bank accounts and engaged in award of contract to his personal companies and those of his cronies through which he defrauded LSHA to the tune of several millions of naira. It is recalled that civil society organizations in Lagos has on several occasion demanded investigation of Obasa by anti-graft agencies. In June, a coalition of civil society organizations staged protests at the EFCC office in Ikoyi; demanding investigations into allegations of corruption at the Lagos State House of Assembly. Investigations by Sahara Reporters which was corroborated by record of the Supreme Court of Nigeria revealed Obasa may not have qualified as a lawyer in spite of his claim to have been called to Nigerian Bar on account of which he attended a number of forums in Nigeria and abroad to represent LSHA and Lagos State Government.
While details of evidence EFCC operatives at the Ikoyi Office will use in confront Obasa are still sketchy, sources however indicated that the lady who served as Obasa’s personal assistant has revealed much about her involvement in fraud perpetrated by the Speaker. The lady and a couple of other cronies who were said to have been interrogated for days at the Lagos Office of the EFCC may have provided useful information about illicit transactions running into several millions of Naira which were laundered on behalf of the Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.
Anti-graft operatives are also believed to have interrogated scores of bank officials linked with the transactions as well as number of vehicle dealers who provided information on transactions that established fraudulent dealings by the Speaker. Notably, investigations may have revealed how funds belonging to LSHA were diverted into acquiring several houses in different locations in Lagos. Investigations into Obasa’s string of houses which are believed to be ongoing may have revealed how Obasa acquired no fewer than hundred house most of which are Agege area of Lagos as well as other locations of choice in Lagos metropolis.
It is not immediately clear if any member of LSHA has so far been implicated apart from the Speaker. However, there are indications that a number of Obasa’s accomplices cooperated with the EFCC during investigations by providing credible leads on the huge fraud perpetrated at the LSHA. While Obasa’s interrogations at the Lagos Office of EFCC may continue for the new few days, there is however strong indication that prosecution of the head of Lagos legislative assembly may commence soon after the interrogation.
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