Crime/DefenseLegal/Judiciary

Alleged N125bn fraud: Trial of convicted bank MD, Atuche continues February 22 before another court

By Francis IWUCHUKWU

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, presided over by Justice Ayokunle Faji, has fixed February 22, 2022, for the continuation of the trial of the convicted Managing Director, MD, of BankPHB, Francis Atuche, alongside Charles Ojo for another alleged N125 billion fraud.

It would be recalled that Atuche is currently serving a jail term passed on him by a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu.

Atuche was convicted and sentenced of fraud to the tune of N25.7 billion on June 16, alongside Ugo Anyanwu, another bank Chief.

Before the Federal High Court, Atuche and Ojo are currently answering questions to a 45 count charge of conspiracy, illegal and unlawful granting of loans worth billions of Naira to some companies, Futureview Service Limited, Petosan Oil and Gas Limited, Tradjek Nigeria Limited and Extra Oil Limited.

The duo were being accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of reckless granting of several billions of loans between 2006 and 2009 to Platinum Capital Limited, a company in which they both have an interest.

The loans were alleged to have been granted without adequate security, an act the EFCC said violated Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The convicted Atuche and Ojo were equally alleged to have conspired to grant several billions of Naira loans to one Futureview Service Limited “without adequate security and contrary to accepted banking practice.”

According to the anti-graft agency, the offences are contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(i) of the Failed Bank (Recovery of Debt) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and liable to be punished under Section 16(1)(a) of the same Act.

Also, allegedly granted loans without adequate security by the defendants were Petosan Oil and Gas Limited, Tradjek Nigeria Limited and Extra Oil Limited.

According to one of the counts, Atuche and Ojo were alleged to have failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure the correctness of the June 2009 Bank PHB monthly bank returns to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The defendants were equally alleged to have on December 24, 2008, injected the sum of N650m into “Insurance PHB Limited,” contrary to Section 21(2)(a) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act Cap B3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

But Atuche and Ojo pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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For events coverage, breaking news, and advert placement, contact us today on our hot lines: 2348033599492, 2348022717838, 2349154181127. You can also email us on thenewsacceleratornetwork@gmail.com or thenewsaccelerator@gmail.com

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All rights reserved. This material and any other material on THE NEWS ACCELERATOR NETWORK should not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written, or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from the Editor-in-chief.

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