Money laundering: Court adjourns trial of ex-Union Bank executives, Peter Ololo

The bank executives are being charged for money laundering

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday fixed February 17 for continuation of trial in a suit against some former executives of Union Bank Plc. The former executives are charged for money laundering.

The accused are a former Managing Director of the bank, Barthlomew Ebong; Henry Onyemem, Niyi Opeodu and Samuel Anyininuola, former directors of the bank.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, charged the bank executives alongside a company, Falcon Securities Ltd., and its Director, Peter Ololo, on 20 counts bordering on the offence.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, the prosecutor, Kola Awodehin, informed the court of a pending motion filed by the thirdaccused for stay of proceedings.

He, however, informed the court that the prosecution had filed a counter affidavit and preliminary objection to the motion for stay, adding that the third accused just served him with a reply on Friday.

He, therefore, prayed the court for adjournment to enable him study the counter affidavit to his processes filed by third accused.

The counsel representing the third accused, Dapo Olanipekun, said that his reply was actually served on the prosecution in court on Friday and that he had no objection to the request for adjournment.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia consequently adjourned the case to February 17 for continuation of trial.

The accused were re-arraigned on November 15, 2012.

They were alleged to have granted loan facilities to themselves without security and above the approved limit, without lawful authority from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Mr. Ebong and other executives of the bank were also alleged to have granted several credit facilities to Falcon Securities, in connivancewith its Director, Mr. Ololo, without collateral.

The Counsel to the third accused, Mr. Olanipekun, challenged the charge against his client, saying that the charge disclosed no cause ofaction.

The judge had, however, overruled the contention of defence counsel and held that the charge sufficiently disclosed a cause of actionagainst the third accused.

He had then appealed against the ruling of the court, while he filed an application for stay of proceedings at the lower court, to abide by the decision of the court of appeal.

The offence is said to contravene the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004.



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