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17 Jun 2017

Bank Chief In Trouble: On Trial For Fraud

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has arraigned two bank chiefs for an alleged fraud of $166m before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami
Akinteye is the Managing Director of Integrated Microfinance Bank Plc, while Adepoju is his deputy.

The 10 counts pressed against them by the Federal Government bordered on alleged reckless granting of $166.9m and N33.25m credit facilities to themselves and one Mrs. Temitope Imam without collaterals.

Akinteye was accused of unlawfully transferring $166m into Imam’s two accounts domiciled at Citi Bank N. A. of Utica/Clarkson, 702, Utica Avenue, Brooklyn New York and Washington Mutual, 391, Eastern Parkway, Belford Avenue, New York, USA.

He was also accused of diverting a cumulative sum of N11m to his personal company, Deblad Nigeria Limited.

Adepoju was accused of diverting a total of N22.25m to a limited liability company, Gad Press Limited.

The prosecutor, Mrs. A. I. Charles-Okoli, said the bank chiefs acted contrary to sections 18 (1)(a) and 18(3) and 15(1)(a)(I) Banks and Other Financial Institution Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and are liable to be punished under sections 18(2) and 16(1)(a) of the same Act.

But Akinteye and Adepoju pleaded not guilty.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had admitted the duo to bail in the sum of N10m with two sureties each.

The court ordered that the sureties must be persons whose status must not be less than that of an executive director in a commercial bank, with evidence of three years’ tax payment to the government.

The judge said the accused persons should be remanded pending when they would perfect the bail conditions.

At the proceedings, lawyer for the accused, Mr. C. O. J. Joseph (SAN), told Justice Olatoregun that his clients found it difficult to get any bank executive director to stand surety for them.

Joseph pleaded with the judge to vary the terms.

“The defendants have made efforts in meeting the bail conditions but all to no avail.

“We plead with Your Lordship to either allow them bail on self-recognisance or to get civil servants instead of executive directors of a bank,” Joseph pleaded.

The prosecutor, Okoli, did not oppose the application for variation of bail conditions, but urged the court to consider the nature of the charges against the accused before granting the application.

After hearing both parties, Justice Olatoregun adjourned till June 22 for ruling and commencement of trial.

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