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

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.


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