- Category: Latest
- Published on Saturday, 05 September 2009 14:11
- Written by TRIBUNE
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday, accused sacked chief executives and executive directors of the five banks of financial crimes running into billions of naira. It specifically accused the former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank International, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru and her FinBank Nigeria Plc counterpart, Mr. Okey Nwosu, of falsifying monthly returns of the banks to the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN) while they were at the helm of affairs.
The EFCC said this at the Federal High Court, Lagos, where the bank chiefs were arraigned. During the trial, the judge, Justice Dan Abutu, fixed the 14th and 15th September as the dates to rule on their bail applications.
He also ordered that the accused persons be remanded in custody till then. The former Managing Director of Afribank Plc, Sebastian Adigwe and Peter Ololo, the Managing Director of Falcon Securities Limited, are to be in prison custody while the rest, including the seven executive directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc are to be remanded in EFCC’s custody.
The anti-graft commission, on Friday, opposed the bail applications of all the accused persons. In its counter affidavit to the bail application of Mrs. Ibru, the EFCC disclosed that it embarked on an investigation of the bank’s management upon the receipt of a petition in August.
The commission stated further that its investigations revealed that Mrs. Ibru granted unsecure credit facilities running into billions of naira to some companies after the board of directors of the bank had refused to grant same.
It was also alleged that the Oceanic Bank’s monthly return to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was falsified by Mrs. Ibru. She was also said to have released the bank’s fund to acquire its shares, contrary to the accepted practice and CBN directives.
The EFCC stated that if the accused was granted bail by the court, she would use her position as a former managing director to interfere with the proposed prosecution witnesses.
It said it would not be in the interest of justice to grant her bail. However, the arguments were countered by the accused in her application.
She asked the court, through her lawyer, Akin Olujimi (SAN), to grant her bail pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. In the EFCC’s counter affidavit to the bail application of Nwosu, the commission disclosed that it conducted an investigation into the running of the bank upon the receipt of a petition from the CBN in August.
The EFCC stated that its investigation showed that Nwosu made the bank to borrow N44.8 billion from the CBN through expanded discount window and standing credit facility was still outstanding as of July 23.
It also alleged that the bank’s monthly return to the CBN was falsified by the accused and that he would not be available for trial if granted bail.
Nwosu, speaking through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), asked that he be granted bail by the court on liberal terms. On the former Managing Director of Union Bank, Bartholomew Ebong and his co-accused, Henry Onyemem and Niyi Albert Opeodu, the EFCC disclosed in its counter-affidavit that the accused conspired among themselves to manipulate the bank’s shares.
Counsel for Ebong, Professor Alfred Kasumu (SAN), asked the court to grant his client bail on self recognition. In his own submission, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), counsel for Onyemem, told the court that his client was absent due to ill-health.
He accused the EFCC of filing the proof of evidence after the accused’s bail application had been filed, and urged the court to admit his client to bail on the ground of ill-health.
Chief Olanipekun, who argued for the third accused, Albert Opeodu, also canvassed for the client’s bail application. The commission also countered the bail applications of Adigwe, Ololo and the seven executive directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc.
The executive directors are Raymond Obieri, Hyacinth Enuha, Christopher Adebayo Alabi, Samuel Adegbite, Alhaji Isyaku Umar, Bayo Dada and Sanni Adams.
From SATURDAY TRIBUNE