The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday March 13, 2012 arraigned two former managers of United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) before a High Court of Delta State in Warri.
The two accused persons, Aigbe Akhidenor and Onajite Enaworu were arraigned before Justice Clara Achilefu on a 71 count charge of conspiracy.
The charges include: obtaining money by false pretence, stealing and conspiracy to steal. The charges were made as they were in violation of Section 516 of the Criminal Code cap 21, Vol. 1. Laws of Delta State, 2006.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges. Counsel to EFCC, G.K. Latona then asked the court to remand the accused in prison custody and fix a date for trial. However, Marvel Odiedi, counsel to the first accused person asked the court to grant bail to the accused persons as the offence for which they were arraigned was bailable.
He also told the court that the accused persons have been on the administrative bail of the EFCC in the last one year and that they have always made themselves available to the anti graft agency whenever they were needed.
He told the court that the accused persons would make themselves available to face trial. The same argument was canvassed by counsel to the second accused person. He urged the court to use its discretion in granting bail to the accused persons.
Mr.Latona objected to the court granting bail to the accused persons.
He said though granting of bail was at the discretion of the court, it should however be exercised judicially and judiciously. He said the defence counsel has failed to provide any material before the court on which bail can be granted.
Mr. Lantana told the court to that the court that the proof of evidence before it, showed that the Offences for which the accused persons were arraigned were grave.
He stated that it involved fraudulent conversion and diversion of over N500 million. He said the accused persons were liable to 15-20 years imprisonment if convicted.
However, Justice Clara Achilefu in her ruling, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge also said, the two sureties must own property within the jurisdiction of the court, which will be verified by the court. She also said that the accused persons should deposit their travelling documents with the court.
The two ex-bankers are alleged to have obtained between N500 million from the United Bank or Africa on the 23rd of Dec 2009 to July 2010.
For instance, in count 4 of the statement of offence, Akhidenor and Enaworu were said to have “on or about the 18th day of May 2010, at Warri within the jurisdiction of the court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N70, 360,000 (seventy million three hundred and sixty thousand naira) from United Bank of Africa Plc on the false representation that the money was a loan from the bank to one Isi Akhuewu.”
In count 6, the accused persons were said to have “on or about the 12th day of March 2010 at Warri within the jurisdiction of the court with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N20, 000 (twenty million naira) from United Bank of Africa Plc on the false representation that the money was a loan from the bank to one Ayodeji Ayemere operating under the name and style of Lepski Global Service