A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday deferred ruling on the bail application by former managing director of Bank PHB Plc,  Mr. Francis Atuche and two of his associates,  Funmi  Ademosun and Lekan Kasali,  to May 25. Justice  S.A. Onigbanjo adjourned proceedings after listening to arguments and submissions by counsel to the defendants and the prosecution.

In his argument for bail,  counsel  to the defendants , Mr. Anthony Idigbe, SAN argued that his clients deserved  to be granted bail because the offence they are alleged to have committed  is bailable. He added that his clients had been granted bail in similar circumstances by the Federal  High  Court and they did not jump  bail. But EFCC counsel Mr. Kemi Pinhiero,SAN  opposed the bail application on the ground that the Commission could not guarantee that the accused persons would not escape from the jurisdiction of the court.

Atuche and others were arraigned on Tuesday May 17 on 3 count charge  for allegedly stealing over 11.4billions naira from Bank PHB between November 2007 and September 2008.  Specifically, they were alleged in the charge, to have fraudulently sold 241,579,284 units of Afribank shares, a joint property of Caverton Helicopters Limited and Bank PHB and converted the proceeds for their personal use. In addition, the accused persons allegedly converted some of the stolen money into loans to Congnipar Nigeria Limited for their personal use.

In a related development, Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Ikeja High Court reserved ruling in the bail application by former managing director of FinBank Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosun and three former Executive Directors of the bank,Mrs. Agnes Ebubedike, Mr. Danjuma Ocholi and Mr. Dayo Famoroti to May 24. They were  arraigned for allegedly stealing over N10billion when they held sway as directors of the bank.

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