N125 billion fraud: EFCC re-arraigns former Nigerian bank chiefs

Francis Atuche [Photo Credit: Thesheet.com]
Francis Atuche [Photo Credit: Thesheet.com]

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday re-arraigned a former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mr. Atuche was charged alongside Charles Ojo, a former Managing Director of Spring Bank, on an amended 45-count charge of N125 billion fraud.

The re-arraignment resulted from the transfer of Justice Saliu Saidu, who was handling the case.

The accused pleaded not guilty before Justice A.O Faji, who allowed them to continue on their earlier bail conditions.

The accused were initially arraigned in 2009 before Justice Akinjide Ajakaiye, who granted them bail in the sum of N50 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

They were later re-arraigned before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako on February 3, 2012, and later re-arraigned before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on January 16, 2013, following the transfer of Mrs. Murtala-Nyako.

Both judges had adopted the bail terms granted by Mr. Ajakaiye.

The EFCC had on February 20, 2014, re-arraigned the accused before Justice Saliu Saidu, following a re-assignment of the case.

In the charge, the EFCC accused the former bank chiefs of granting credit facilities, manipulating shares and committing general banking fraud to the tune of N125 billion.

The alleged offences contravene the provisions of Section 7(2) (b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2004, and Section 15(1) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act, 2004.

They also contravene the provisions of Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation, 2004, as well as Section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004.

Faji adjourned the case to February 22 for trial.

(NAN)


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  • Okokondem

    There we go again with our merry-go-round (carousel) justice, with never ending deferments and postponements and adjournment. These phrases are often common in the reporting of cases involving misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds…AMENDED CHARGES, RE-ARRAIGNED, ADJOURNED.

    Let’s take ‘amended charges’ for instance, why is the EFCC and the prosecution unable to package their cases once and for all without the never ending loop of adding charges which often works to the advantage of the defendants because what ends up happening is the case / trial gets adjourned indefinitely. Whose interest is served by continually adjourning cases?

    • Sanssouci

      the interest of the SANs

  • Policy Group

    @ismaila_katakore:disqus

    What next for STERLING BANK?

    A slew of other corrupt acts lately uncovered by EFCC implicating five bank chiefs
    makes Buhari look less effective. The Managing Director of Sterling Bank, YEMI ADEOLA
    was uncovered to have actively hidden away from bank books a sum of 153 million dollars
    stolen from the NNPC but Yemi Adeola remains in office in violation of public ethics and public
    confidence. No fine has been imposed on Sterling Bank for this criminal act and the entire
    board and management of Sterling Bank all remain in office with total impunity.

  • Rommel

    Gradually,judicial reforms is kicking in which means there would be at least some decent judges who would try to maintain the integrity of their profession and not rogue judges like Rita Ofili Ajumogobia,it’s left with expansion of penitentiaries to take the population that would be taking up residence in there soon