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FCMB Manager, 2 Others Dock Over N1.2bn Scam

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The Ikeja GRA Branch Manager of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Tope Munis, has been dragged before a Lagos State High Court for allegedly aiding N1.2billion fraud, property of Star Orient Nigeria Limited.

Tope Munis was arraigned on fifteen count amended charge alongside Dare Osamo and Ayoola Bisola who had earlier arraigned over the alleged fraud before the court presided over by Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

At the resumption of trial today, the Director, Lagos State Department of Public Prosecution, Dr. Jide Martins, informed the court that the state have an amended charge to include the branch manager who allegedly connived with Dare Osamo to swindle Star Orient owned by a businessman, Otunba Babatunde Akanbi Babalola.

According to the amended charge, Tope Munis on the 15th day of February, 2016, while acting as Branch Manager, First City Monument Bank PLC. situate at No 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area (G R.A) Branch allegedly committed the offence.

Also Read: Alleged N185m Fraud: Kaduna Lawmaker Gabriel Zock Faces Trial

The charge further states that Munis and Osamo, allegedly demonstrates intention to defrauding and without lawful authority or excuses approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nig. Ltd when there were no SCUML (i.e Special Control Unit against Money Laundering) certificate number on the account opening form.

The charge also states that the duo of Munis and Osamo, allegedly runs foul of banking rules when they opened the account without full details of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, no means of identification nor BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited and upon a forged resolution purportedly signed by Dare Osamo as sole signatory when there are two directors who are signatories to Star Orient Nigeria Limited’s account.

Dr. Martins, upon announced to the court of the existence of the amended charge urged the court to take his plea over the allegations leveled against him.

Consequently, Tope Munis pleaded not guilty to four-count charges relating to him out of the fifteen amended count charges

The state prosecutor, thereafter, asked the court for a trial date and a remand order pending the determination of his bail application.

Click To Read: Alleged $1.6m Fraud: Court To Rule on Oluokun “No Case Submission” April 12

In a counter reaction, J.O. Olushade who represents Dr. Wale Olawoyin, SAN as a counsel to the branch manager, informed the court of his bail application while praying for liberal terms.

The defence counsel moved the bail application by adopting it as he prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail because the offence allegedly commented by the defendants are bailable.

In his opposition to the bail, the state DPP, said the court must consider the severity of the offence, as he prayed the court to turn down the bail application of the defendant.

Read Also: Another Judge Takes Over Adoke Alleged N400m Trial

Delivering ruling on the bail application, Justice Ogala granted the FCMB Branch Manager bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties.

The court ordered that the sureties must be resident in the state and have title to landed property. She said they must provide evidence of tax payment to state government as well as their residential address be verified.

She further ordered the defendant to submit his international passport to court within 48hrs.

The case has been adjourned till May 26, and June 8 for commencement of trial.

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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 Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of 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

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N20bn Theft: Witness Narrates How First Bank Officials Connive With Hackers

Alleged N20billion theft First Bank Hackers’ Trial Adjourned To October 5

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A witness from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Adamu Dahiru, has told a Special Offences Court how three former workers with the First Bank of Nigeria connived with hackers to steal twenty billion naira (N20bn) from the bank.

Dahiru, an investigator with the EFCC, being led in witness box said that the defendants conspired to tap into the bank’s server to grant access to a syndicate.

During cross examination by one of the defence counsel, Uchenna Ozoagbo, Dahiru, told the court that the defendants were apprehended after one of them connected a laptop he collected from the syndicate to the bank’s server.

He said that they conspired to give access to a fraudster to defraud the bank of over N20bn. The report we gathered was that the money was in the cloud and they needed to bring it out.

Click To Read: EFCC Drags Agronomist Omolara Svensson Before Special Court Over Alleged Fraud

“The second defendant (Emeka) had a meeting with the syndicate at a hotel.

“When the first defendant (Ugorji) was arrested, he made a statement that he was introduced to the syndicate by the third defendant (Chukwuka) and that they had communicated with someone from the headquarters.

“The second defendant made a statement that a laptop was given after several promises that he should connect the laptop to the bank’s system.

“When he was on duty, he connected the laptop to the banking system, but during the connection, the I.P. of the laptop was picked up and the system was destroyed.”

Also Read: Court Reserve Sentence As It Convict Couple Over $120m Fraud

The defendants, Ozioma Ugorji, Ugwu Emeka, and Obike Chukwuka, were arraigned for allegedly attempting to steal N20bn from the bank.

They were, however, apprehended by the EFCC on March 6, 2021, following an intelligence report.

The presiding judge, Sherifat Solebo, adjourned the case till October 5, 2022, for continuation of the trial.

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Alleged N1.7b Fraud: Complainant, Businessman Opt For Out Of Court Settlement

The court granted the adjournment prayers of the counsels and adjourned for report of settlement to strike out the case.

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of a Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, has fixed July 5, for report of settlement in an alleged N1.7bn fraud trial levelled against a businessman, Edward Akinlade.

The prosecuting agency of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned the businessman alongside his company, Suru Homes Ltd, on a 10-count charge bordering on stealing and issuance of dud cheques.

He, however, pleaded not guilty.

EFCC alleged the defendant, With an intent to defraud, converted the property at No.11A Adeyemi Lawson St., Ikoyi, Lagos by selling same without the knowledge of Fidelity Bank and diverted the proceeds of sales.

He was alleged that the property was a subject of a legal mortgage used as part of collateral to secure the loan of N1.7 billion from the Bank.

Click To Also Read: EFCC Accuses Mompha of Defying Court Order of Travelling Restriction

At today’s proceedings, the defence counsel, Mr Pedro Lawal, SAN, notified the court of a letter dated June 1, titled “Terms of Settlement”, initiated by the complainant to settle with the defendant.

The Senior Advocate prayed the court for a short adjourned date to enable him bring proper application to strike out the case.

“The complainant and the defendant have finally settled their dispute my lord. It is a business gone sour which has been resolved.

Read Also: Court Convicts Retiree Over Perversion of Justice

“There is a letter to that effect where the complainant has written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and for the court to affirm the settlement.

“On this note, we shall be asking for a short adjourned date for us to file proper application to discontinue the trial,” Lawal said.

The EFCC counsel, Mr Temitope Banjo, however, informed the court that he was not privy of the information and he also urged the court for a short adjourned date to enable them perfect internal arrangement concerning the letter of settlement.

Subsequently the judge granted the prayers of the counsel and adjourned for report of settlement to strike out the case.

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Court Convict Forex Trader, Shola Henry Over N20m Theft

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A Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja, has sentenced a forex trader, Shola Henry, to two years imprisonment for stealing twenty million naira.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, held that the cryptocurrency business was nothing but a Ponzi scheme.

“The prosecution, however, proved the charge of stealing against the defendant and he is found guilty as charged of count six.

“The defendant is hereby sentenced to two years’ imprisonment or pay a fine of two million naira. His company is also fined one million naira.

Also Read: Bamise Murder: Okada Ban, Stalls Trial of BRT Driver

“The defendant is hereby given one year to make restitution of twenty million naira to his victim,” the judge said.

Justice Taiwo further held that the allegation of obtaining money under false pretence was not proved by the prosecution.

She discharged and acquitted the convict on counts one to five.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had charged the defendant and his company, Henry Enterprises, with an eight amendment count charge, bordering on stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.

EFCC counsel, Mr Ahmed Yerima, called five witnesses at the trial of the defendant.

 

Click To Read: Court Permits Alleged Fake Army General To Change Counsel

Mr Yerima submitted that EFCC received a petition from one Mr Anyasi Matthew, who alleged that the defendant defrauded him of the sum of N20 million, on the pretext that he was going to invest the same in forex with 20 per cent profit in 30 days.

The prosecution said that the defendant stopped giving returns to the complainant after collecting the money and refused to return his capital to him as promised.

The prosecution stated that the failure of the defendant to refund the money to the owner prompted him to petition the EFCC on the alleged fraud.

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