Breaking News
Translate

Bank PHB ex-MD, Director arraigned over N79bn fraud

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS — SACKED Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bank PHB Plc, Mr. Francis Atuche and an Executive Director of the bank, Mr. Charles Ojo, also sacked former Managing Director of Spring Bank Plc, were yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on a 26-count charge bordering on reckless granting of credit facilities without adequate collateral; granting facilities above their approval limits; concealment and fraud totaling N79 billion.

They were also alleged to have granted credit facilities, in billions of naira, to companies they have interest in.

The duo were arrested on October 16, by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, shortly after they were relieved of their  jobs by the  Governor of Central Bank, Mallam Lamido Sanusi.

The accused persons, pleaded not guilty to the each of the counts of the charge, after which the prosecution asked for a date for trial in the matter to commence. But the defence counsel informed the court that they had filed bail applications and would want to argue same. At that point, the prosecution noted that he had been served with the bail applications, but would want to react to same and asked for a short time to enable him do so.

Consequently, trial judge in the matter adjourned till November 3 for arguments on the bail applications. The accused persons were remanded in the custody of the EFCC, following the request by their counsel that they should be allowed to stay there.
Counsel to Ojo told the court that his client was okay with the EFCC detention cell and as the defence counsel did not oppose the application, the court directed that the accused persons should be remanded in EFCC custody.

The charge preferred against the accused persons reads, “that you Francis Atuche whilst being the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bank PHB Plc and Charles Ojo whilst being the Executive Director of Bank PHB Plc on or about June 30, 2009, within the jurisdiction of this court were connected with the grant of credit facility in the total sum of N5 billion to PHB Asset Management Ltd a company in which Francis Atuche and Charles Ojo are Directors with no security contrary to accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the
Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and Charles Ojo, within the jurisdiction of this court were connected with the grant of credit facility in the total sum of N7 billion to Platinum Capital Ltd a company in which Francis Atuche and Charles Ojo are Directors with no security contrary to accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and others (now at large) on or about November 1, 2007, within the jurisdiction of this court recklessly granted credit facility in the sum of N4 billion to Petosan Oil and Gas Ltd without adequate security contrary to the Bank’s regulations and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and others (now at large) on or about November 16, 2007, within the jurisdiction of this court recklessly granted credit facility in the sum of N4 billion to Futureview Financial services Ltd without adequate security contrary to the Bank’s regulations and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and others (now at large) sometime in the month of July, 2009, within the jurisdiction of this court recklessly granted credit facility in the sum of N4 billion to Extra Oil Ltd without adequate security contrary to the Bank’s regulations and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and others (now at large) on or about November 5, 2007, within the jurisdiction of this court recklessly granted credit facility in the sum of N3.5 billion to Tradjek Nigeria Ltd without adequate security contrary to the accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and others (now at large) on or about the 30th day of June, 2009, within the jurisdiction of this court recklessly granted credit facility in the sum of N3.58 billion to Springboard Trust and Investment Nigeria Ltd without adequate security contrary to the accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.

• That you Francis Atuche and others (now at large) on or about June 30, 2009, within the jurisdiction of this court recklessly granted credit facility in the sum of N2.31 billion to Sonadec Securities Ltd without adequate security contrary to the accepted practice and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(1) (a) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 16(1) of the same Act.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.