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N4.5b Fraud: Court Adjourns Billionaire Tunde Ayeni’s Trial Till Oct 10


Justice Valentine Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Apo, Abuja, on June 24, 2019, adjourned till October 10, 2019, for continuation of trial of the former Chairman of Skye Bank Plc, Tunde Ayeni in alleged N4.5 billion fraud charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Ayeni is being prosecuted on criminal breach of trust to the tune of N4, 597,500,000 (Four Billion, Five Hundred and Ninety Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira, Only).

The ex-bank Chief is facing trial along with one Timothy Ajani Oguntayo, for allegedly conspiring at different times to fraudulently divert depositors’ funds domiciled at Skye Bank Plc for personal use.

One of the charges read: “That you, Tunde Ayeni, whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc and Timothy Ajani Oguntayo, while being the Managing Director, MD of the defunct Skye Bank Plc on or about October 16, 2014 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, whilst being officers of the defunct Skye Bank Plc entrusted with property, to wit; depositors funds in the defunct Skye Bank Plc’s Suspense Account, committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the sum of N1,000,000,000 (One Billion Naira) and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Sections 311 and 312 of the Penal Code.”

At today’s proceedings, the lead defence counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, prayed for an adjournment to enable the defendant interface with the prosecution for the parties involved to make reconciliation easy.

“My lord, the defendant is taking sincere and positive step of reconciliation of the issues arising from the transaction leading to this charge. My Lord, we owe a duty to inform the court and at the same time ask for time for reconciliation in the interest of the state, as well as the defendant. Therefore, our humble application is for adjournment for this matter, while the first defendant continue to interface with the prosecution and every party involved to make the reconciliation work”, he said.

Earlier, the court took EFCC’s application on why the Commission refused to release the first defendant’s international passport. According to the prosecution counsel, Siraj Saeda, SAN, there is an ongoing investigation on the matter.

After listening to both counsels, Justice Ashi, ordered the EFCC to submit the defendant’s international passport to the Court Registrar within 48 hours of ruling and thereafter, adjourned the case to October 10, 2019, for continuation of hearing.

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