N125bn fraud: EFCC tenders incriminating documents against Atuche, Ojo

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday tendered more incriminating documents in the ongoing trial of former Chief Executive Officer of Bank PHB Plc, now Keystone Bank Plc, Francis Atuche, and the former Managing Director of the defunct Spring Bank Plc, Charles Ojo, over alleged N125 billion fraud.

Read also: FAAN MD sick, hospitalised as EFCC closes in on agency

Atuche and Ojo, are standing trial before a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu.

At the resumed trial of the two former bank Chiefs, EFCC lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro tendered several documents before the court, which were admitted as exhibits.

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Some of the documents tendered as additional proof of evidence include: a Certified True Copy (CTC) of share application form for Commercial Trading and Services Limited dated December 15, 2007, valued N1 billion; and CTC share application forms of APCO Associate Limited, dated December 19, 2007, Felimon Enterprises, dated December 16, 2007, and Multrack Investment Limited dated December 17, 2007.

The Prosecutor also tendered the CTC of current account opening package oil and Gas limited, a shares application forms for Stamford Global Concept, dated December 19, 2007; Gazali Yakubu Investment Limited, dated December 17, 2007; Arabian Property Management, dated December 19, 2007; Termonth Asset Management Limited, dated December 17, 2007; and Anyanko Francis Okechukwu, dated December 12, 2007.

The prosecutor further tendered the Certified True Copy (CTC) of Bank PHB memo dated December 3, 2007; Bank PHB’s letter of Appointment of Ehi Ehiyo, dated December 3, 2007; and Bank PHB’s letter to the EFCC dated October 28, 2009.

Furthermore, Mr. Pinheiro also tendered the Certified True Copy of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents on Resolutions of Gazali Yakubu Investment Limited, Patrick Edeh Investment Limited and documents on particulars of directors of Gazali Yakubu Investment Limited, dated May 28, 2005.

He also tendered the CTC of CAC resolution on removal and appointment of directors of Gazali Yakubu Investment Limited; Commercial Trading and Services Limited, and Pelimoh Enterprises Limited dated November 29, 2005.

He also tendered the Certified True Copy of CAC particular of directors of AFCO and Associates; CAC form 2, CAC form 7 of Okwu Assets Management, and CAC form 2 of Okwu Asset Management.

Lawyers to Atuche and Ojo, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) and Mr. O. Idemudua, did not oppose the tendered and admissibility of the documents, but said they reserve their comments as regards the content of the tendered documents.

Consequently, Justice Saliu Saidu admitted all the documents and marked them as exhibits in the case.

After the documents were admitted and marked as exhibits, Mr. Pinheiro (SAN) urged the court for a short adjournment to enable him prepare schedule of other documents to be tendered in the case.

Consequently, the court granted the application for adjournment, and the matter was adjourned till November 24.

The two former bank Chiefs were charged before the court by the EFCC, in an amended 45-count charge bordering on alleged N125 billion fraud, conspiracy, reckless granting and approval of loans and money laundering between September 1, 2006 and 2009.

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The anti-graft agency also accused Atuche of applying N3.5billion being proceeds of unlawful loans granted to Tradjek Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Future view Financial Services Ltd, in payment for his acquisition of shares of Bank PHB using various companies as fronts with an intention to conceal the ownership of the loans.

It added that he collaborated with different companies to conceal the genuine origins of the N3.5billion used to acquire the bank’s shares.

The alleged offences according to the anti-graft agency, contravene Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. While offence of reckless granting of loans contravene Section 7(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act and punishable under section 7(2)(b).

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