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Court grants Atuche, wife time to file no-case application

By Onozure Dania

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted a former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche and his wife, Elizabeth, an additional time to file their no-case submission applications concerning  the charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.

Francis  Atuche and his wife Elizabeth, are being prosecuted alongside a former Chief Financial Officer of Bank PHB, for allegedly stealing N25.7 billion belonging to the bank.

The Anti- graft agency had closed its case against the defendants on March 4, 2013, after calling 12 witnesses who gave oral evidence and issuing subpoenas to six other persons to present some documents which were admitted as exhibits by the court.

Atuche and the other defendants had insisted that the EFCC had failed to establish the charge leveled against them based on the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits before the court.

The presiding judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu directed the defendants to file their no-case submission within 14 days.

During the hearing yesterday, counsel to  Atuche and his wife, Chief Anthony Idigbe SAN, asked the court for an extension of time to file all the necessary processes.

He added that the delay was necessitated by the crash of his computer which resulted in the loss of valuable information relating to the matter.

The EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, who had earlier opposed the application, withdrew his objection and the request was granted by the judge.


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