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Atuche: How bank’s N45m was paid as tithe illegally – Witness


Bolaji Ogunsola, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC witness  in the ongoing trial of Mr. Francis Atuche, the former Managing Director of Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank) yesterday  told an Ikeja High Court that fund from the bank was paid as tithe to two Catholic churches on the instructions of the embattled banker.

The witness, Mr. Bolaji Solomon Ogunsola, who is the erstwhile Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of PHB Mortgages (a subsidiary of Bank PHB) also told Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court, that while he held sway in the subsidiary company, there was a call account being operated without a glaring ownership  but which every bank staff believed was owned by Atuche.

Given evidence on the transfer of money to the churches, the witness said about N45 million was paid as tithe into St. Augustine Catholic Church and St. Monica Catholic Church from the bank’s account which amount to illegal transactions.

The prosecution witness said that funds were withdrawn from the account through e-mail from one Charity Okoma who was at the time Atuche’s secretary.

“We received e-mails as usual with a letter from Charity Okoma, who was secretary to the Managing Director.

“In the letter, we were asked to transfer money to St. Augustine Catholic Church and St. Monica Catholic Church, both in Ibusa, Delta State,” Ogunsola said.

On money transferred to some companies, the witness disclosed that he was aware that funds were transferred from some company accounts in Mortgages Bank PHB to some individual accounts in other banks.


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