Alleged N125 billion fraud: Ex-Bank PHB boss Atuche, Ojo to appear before new judge

Francis Atuche

The chief did not give any reason for his transfer.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta, on Monday re-assigned the case filed against former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche. Mr. Atuche is charged with a N125 billion fraud.

The case, which was initially before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, has now been transferred to Justice Saliu Saidu.

Though no reason was given for the transfer, Ms. Ofili-Ajumogobia had in October signified her intention to withdraw from the trial.

The matter is now scheduled to come up before Justice Saidu on February 20.

The EFCC filed an amended 45-count charge bordering on the alleged offence against Mr. Atuche and the former Managing Director of defunct Spring Bank, Charles Ojo.

The accused were re-arraigned before Ofili-Ajumogobia on November 14, 2012, following the retirement of Justice Akinjide Ajakaiye, the first judge.

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail.

The accused were alleged to have granted fraudulent credit facilities, manipulated shares and committed general banking fraud to the tune of over N125 billion.

The offence is said to contravene the provisions of Section 15 of the Failed Banks (Recovery of debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act, 2004.

The prosecution had yet to open its case before the transfer.

(NAN)

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