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Intercontinental Bank affiliates were independent – Witness

By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH, ONOZURE DANIA & MICHAEL OLADAPO

LAGOS—The trial of the former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Dr Erastus Akingbola, continued yesterday with the second defendants’ witness, Mr. Thomas Ayodele, testifying to how his company operated independently without any influence from Akingbola.

Ayodele, who was a former Managing Director  of Intercontinental Capital Markets Limited (ICML), a subsidiary of Intercontinental Bank (now Access Bank), made  claim that his company transferred fund to Regal Investment Ltd. based on a business transaction between the two companies.

Also, the former Managing Director of FinBank Plc, Mr Okey Nwosu, standing trial over alleged stealing of N16.2 billion  belonging to the bank alongside three other directors was yesterday granted permission to travel out of the country for medical treatment.

Akingbola is answering a N47.1 billion charge of stealing alongside one of his associates, Mr. Bayo Dada, a charge preffered against them  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The witness who was led in evidence before Justice Habeeb Abiru of an Ikeja High Court by Akingbola’s counsel, Mr Deji Sasegbon, SAN, said Akingbola neither benefited from the transactions between his company and its cutomers nor was part of the transactions.

Though he admitted that his company (ICML) was a subsidiary of the former Intercontinental Bank Plc, he said the N2.1 billion transaction involving ICML and Regal Investment Company Limited was done with the approval of the board of ICML.

He told the court: “On March 10, 2009, Dr Raymond Obieri, the chairman of Regal Investment sent us a business request that we should transfer some (N2.1 billion) for the company.

“After we received the financial request, we examined the financial viability and the integrity of the client and sent a memo to the board for approval.”

“The placement (transfer) was approved by the board before the transaction was made, “ he said.


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