By Innocent Anaba
LAGOSâ€”A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday ordered the remand of six top officials of Intercontinental Bank in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over their alleged involvement in money laundering scam totaling about N27 billion. Trial judge in the matter is Justice Tijani Abubakar.
The accused persons are, Financial Controller of the bank, Akinwumi Solomon Fabunmi; Head of Domestic Operations, Toyin Odesile; Head of Foreign Exchange, Ayoola Ayinde; Head of Corporate Treasury, Oluwatoyin Oyelade; a director of Intercontinental Bank and General Manager of Tropics Securities Limited, Bayo Dada and the General Manager of Intercontinental Capital Market Limited, Ayodele Thomas will be in custody till 6 January, when their bail applications would be determined.
The accused persons, are believed to be associates of the former Managing Director of the bank, Erastus Akingbola, who is still at large, even though a 12-count charge had been filed against him by the EFCC.
However, when the matter came up in court, EFCCâ€™s lawyer prayed the court for the name of one of the accused person, Raymond Obieri, who is also the Chairman of the board of directors of the bank should be struck out from the charge on health ground, a request the court granted.
When the charge was read to them, they pleaded not guilty to all the count charge.
Akingbola and five companies in which the Intercontinental Bank Directors allegedly have interest were also named in the charge. The companies are Regal Investment Limited, Tropics Securities Ltd, Tropics Properties Ltd, Tropics Finance and Investment Ltd and Bankinson Nigeria Ltd.
The accused persons, according to the charge, were alleged to have perpetuated criminal conspiracy, fraudulent withdrawal, conversion and illegal transfer of Intercontinental Bankâ€™s funds estimated at about N27 billion between March and June, 2009.
Fabunmi, Ayoola, Bada, Odusile and Akingbola (at large), according to the charge, were said to have on 11 May, â€œfraudulently withdrawn N10 billion depositorâ€™s fund from the Time Deposit General Ledger account no 211000002â€ of the bank in the guise of buying shares for it, but allegedlyÂ used same to defray liabilities of Tropics Securities, Tropics Properties and Bankinson.
According to count four of the charge, the accused personsÂ fraudulently withdrew, between 27 May and 30 June , the sum of N8.684billion from the bank â€œunder the guise of payment for shares purchased for the bank and fraudulently convertedâ€ the said sum to the account of the said companies.