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Alleged N180m Fraud: Police Arraigns ex-Zenith Bank Manager, Fidelis Egueke

A former Zenith Bank Plc manager, Fidelis Egueke, was today, re-arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court, over alleged N179, 498 million fraud.

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The Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) of the Nigeria Police, Alagbon-Ikoyi, has re-arraigned a former Zenith Bank Plc manager, Fidelis Egueke, before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over alleged about one hundred and eighty million fraud.

Fidelis, who last worked as the Asaba, Delta State, Branch manager of Zenith Bank, was re-arraigned on an amended 13 count-charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraud.

His re-arraignment was sequel to the transfered of the former trial judge, Justice (Professor) Chuka Austine Obiozor, who has been sitting in another jurisdiction of the court.

The former Zenith Bank manager was first arraigned before Justice Obiozor, on December 1, 2020, on a three count-charge of the offences.

At the resumed hearing of the trial before the new judge, Justice Tijjani Ringim, Police counsel, Morufu Animashaun, informed the court of the new amended charge against the defendant, which was not opposed to by his counsel, Mr. Ugochukwu Egwu.

Read Also: N24bn Debt: Zenith Bank Drag Stallion Group To Court

Consequently, Mr. Animashaun, urged the court to allow his plea to be taken on the amended charge.

Upon reading the counts charge to the former Zenith Bank manager, he denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the 13 counts.

Following his not guilty plea, Mr. Animashaun, prayed for a trial date.

Responding to the prosecutor’s application, his counsel, Mr. Egwu, pleaded with the court to allow his client to continue with the former bail terms granted by the former trial judge.

He also told the court that the matter was initial slated for definite trial, he did not however objected to the new trial date as requested by the prosecutor.

Thereafter, the judge fixed the trial date for December 6, 7 and 8.

You May Also Like: Loan Facility’s Reconciliation: Stallion & Zenith Bank To Be Audited

Re-arraigning the defendant, the police counsel, Mr. Animashaun, told the court that the defendant and others now at large, between May 14, 2010 and December 31, 2019, at No. 2 Balogun Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, conspired among yourselves to obtain the said sum from the Managing Director of Global Select Investment Services Limited, by false pretence that he will help him sell some goods and remit money to his bank.

He had also told the court that the former Zenith Bank manager, upon selling the goods, diverted the proceeds to his account Zenith Bank Account Number 1020019782, while informed the fraud victim, that most of the goods he imported from USA were inferior and of low standard.

Animashaun also told the court that the offences committed by the defendant, are contrary to Section 8(a) and 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act. And Section 390 (7) Criminal Code Act Laws of Federation 2004.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Vice Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and occupied same office with Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

CRIME

PHCN N6bn Insurance Benefit Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Cecilia Osipitan

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Justice U. P. Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, has granted the Managing Director of PJO Ventures Limited, Cecilia Osipitan N500million bail with two sureties in like sum.

The judge gave the bail ruling shortly after her arraignment along with PJO and Insurance Resource and Consultancy Services Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

EFCC had filed nine-count charges against the defendants which borders on criminal breach of trust, conspiracy and conversion of public funds to the tune of six billion naira.

According to EFCC, the money was meant for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Read Also: N322m Laundering: Senator Nwaoboshi Trial Resumes December 10

Osipitan’s offence was said to have contravened Section 311 of the Panel Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Act.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the nine counts charges levelled against them.

Ruling on the bail application, the judge noted that the sureties must be federal civil servant, a religious leader or a member of the National Assembly residing and own landed properties in Abuja.

The matter was subsequently adjourned till January 20, 2022 for commencement of trial.

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Attempted Murder: Court Discharge APC Chieftains in Osun

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Seven members of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Osun State who were accused of murder by the Police have been discharged by the State Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo.

The Police had arraigned the then APC state secretary, Mr. Rasaq Salinsile, the acting chairman, Rev. Adelowo Adebiyi, former Commissioner for Works and Transport, Kazeem Salami, and former Commissioner for Youth Sport and Special Needs, Comrade Biyi Odunlade.

Others were former Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, Barr. Gbenga Akano; and two APC members from Ilesa and Osogbo, Alaba Popoola and Azeez Adekunle respectively.

The defendants were charged for attempted murder, assault and breach of peace allegedly committed at the venue of the sitting of Ward Congress Appeal Committee of APC.

Read Also: SFU Opens Trial Of Syndicate who Theft N.9Billion From FCMB

At the resumed hearing of the matter, State counsel, Mr F. Akintayo, informed the court that the state has taken over the prosecution of the case from the police.

Mr. Akintayo then applied that the case is withdrawn from the court.

Defence team led by Gbenga Awosode did not oppose the application.

In his ruling, the presiding magistrate, Dr. Segun Ayilara, subsequently dismissed the case.

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Former NSITF Board Chairman, Olejeme Trial Begins November 8

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Justice Maryam Hassan of Abuja (FCT) High Court sitting in Jabi has fixed November 8, for commencement of trial of the former board chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme.

The judge gave the date shortly after delivering ruling over her bail application which allows her to continue to enjoy the administrative bail conditions already granted to her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Justice Maryam Hassan in addition to the ruling directed that the travel documents of the defendant be submitted at the court’s registry.

Ngozi Olejeme was arraigned before the court by EFCC on nine-count charges which borders on mismanagement, giving a false statement, taking a kickback from contracts, and diversion of NSITF funds into personal accounts and companies she had an interest in.

According to EFCC, Olejeme committed the offence between 2012 and 2015 when she was the board chairman of the NSITF.

Read Also: Bariga Housemaid Murder Controversy; Couple File File No-Case Submission

The anti-graft agency noted that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 8,19 (1) (b) (1), punishable under the Corrupt Practice & other Related Offence Act 2000 and Section 17, (1) (2), 39 of EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.

However, Olejeme pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge preferred against her.

Subsequently, her counsel, Mr. Paul Erokoro, SAN, applied for bail on self recognition or in the alternative, in the most liberal terms.

He said the bail application was predicated on medical grounds as the defendant has been diabetic and hypertensive for thirty years.

In a counter reaction, EFCC Counsel, Mr. Steve Odiase, who did not opposed the bail application however, opposed to granting of bail on self recognition.

He said that there was no consideration for bail on self recognition in Section 165 (1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

He urged the court to grant the defendant bail with reasonable surety.

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