A hotelier, Babatunde Emmanuel, has told an Ikeja Special Offence Court, Lagos, that Access Bank relied on forged documents to authorized illegal debit and credit transactions on his account.
Emmanuel, the owner of Aerol Hotels Limited, gave this testimony during his cross examination by Access Bank counsel, M. O. Liadi, in a trial he instituted against the bank and it’s Festac branch manager, Sydney Nmeka.
Nmeka, the then Regional Manager at the Festac Branch, Lagos, alongside Access Bank, are currently standing trial on a five-count charge before Justice Mojisola Dada, bordering on conspiracy to commit felony, stealing, forgery, using false documents and false accounting.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), alleged that the defendants committed the offence sometime in 2014 in Lagos.
Responding to question from the second defendant counsel, Mr Emmanuel, narrated how Mr Nmeka used his position to forge his signature to divert funds from his company’s loan account into other fraudulently non-existing/unregistered companies, with the bank, without his consent.
He further stated that Access Bank didn’t responded to a letter of complain he wrote the MD about the unauthorized illegal debit and credit transactions on his account.
Mr Emmanuel said the auditor found out that his signature was forged and used to withdraw very large sums from the account in favour of individuals and companies.
“Aerol Hotel Ltd account was debited and the funds were diverted to companies such as: Saviour Fair Montessori School (N500, 000), Dan Logistics Nigeria Ltd (N7m), J. O Universal Nigeria Concept Ltd (N5m), Helem Global Logistics Ltd (N5m), Sizu International Ltd (N15m) and Sydgold Investment Ltd (N10m).
“These companies were used to divert the funds paid to the loan account by me, geared towards paying down on the facility/loan account.
“Again, the sum of N15m paid for the reduction of the loan was fraudulently and criminally diverted to Sizu International company Limited rather than the purpose of loan liquidation.
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“Sir, further inquiry into the companies used to criminally steal funds from the loan account were found not to be registered in CAC but they maintained accounts with Access Bank.
“I do not know these companies neither have I ever dealt with them personally or otherwise,” he emphasized.
After exhaustive interrogation, Liadi sought for adjournment to present an original document he wish to tender as part of exhibit in the trial.
The prayer was not opposed by other counsel and subsequently the judge granted the request.
Further trial has been adjourned till Dec 3