EFCC To Re-Arraign Akingbola, Atuche, Nwosu Over Alleged Fraud | Independent Newspapers Limited
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EFCC To Re-Arraign Akingbola, Atuche, Nwosu Over Alleged Fraud

Posted: Jul 7, 2016 at 1:22 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Following the Supreme Court decision in a case involving Okey Nwosu, a former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), is set to re-arraign him along with Erastus Akingbola, former Managing Director of defunct Intercontinental Bank and Francis Atuche, ex-CEO of the defunct Bank PHB, for alleged fraud.

Akingbola was accused of stealing N47.1 billion while Atuche and Nwosu were accused of stealing N25.7 billion and N18 billion respectively, totaling about N90 billion.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) had under the leadership of Mallam Lamido Sanusi in 2009, petitioned the anti-graft-agency, demanding the investigation of Nwosu, Akingbola, Atuche and Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, a former Managing Director of the defunct Oceanic Bank, who has since been convicted.

The EFCC responded to the request and charged the ex-bank CEOs  before the Federal High Court, Lagos, on money laundering charges and also initiated another charge of stealing against them before a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, having obtained a fiat from the Lagos State Attorney General.

Not satisfied with the second charge, Nwosu challenged the charge at the Lagos High Court on the grounds that it was an abuse of court process and would expose him to double jeopardy, while also questioning the jurisdiction of the state High Court.

The Lagos High Court dismissed his objection and Nwosu approached the Court of Appeal where he won.

Akingbola and Atuche aligned with the Appeal Court judgment, arguing that the case against them should be struck out and their prayers were granted as the charges against them were struck out on the same grounds.

Not satisfied with the Appeal Court ruling the EFCC approached the Supreme Court, which decided in its favour.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment, upheld the appeal by the EFCC and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, which earlier quashed the charge on the grounds that it amounted to an abuse of court process.

With the victory at the apex court, the EFCC, which hailed the judgment, describing it as a victory in its fight against corruption, said it was a major boost in the prosecution of the ex-bank chiefs.

It said: “The EFCC has won a major victory in the war against economic and financial crimes as the Supreme Court categorically ruled that Okey Nwosu, former Managing Director of FinBank Plc, who is being prosecuted by the EFCC over N18bilion shares scam, should face his trial.

“Nwosu’s previous victories at the lower court slowed down the prosecution of other bank chiefs, who aligned with his victory, to ask that their cases be struck out. But with this ruling of the apex court, the trial of the likes of Francis Atuche, formerly of BankPHB, and Erastus Akingbola, formerly of Intercontinental Bank would receive a major boost.”