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Ecobank: EFCC narrates how customer was allegedly defrauded of $50,000, N9.2m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Tuesday, arraigned Ecobank Plc before Justice Saliu Seidu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a five-count charge bordering on conversion of funds to the tune of $50,000 and N9.2million.

Ecobank is facing trial alongside one of its employees, Anieka Udoh.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Ecobank Plc and one Anieka Udoh, whilst being an employee of Eco Bank Plc sometime in 2009, at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable court, negligently failed to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with Major General Umaru Mohammed and fraudulently converted Major General Umaru Mohammed’s Ecobank MasterCard Account No. 0015052989 from debit card to credit card and consequently debited Major General Umaru Mohammed’s account in the sum of over USD 50,000 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) without the knowledge and authority of Major General Umaru Mohammed.”

Another count reads: “That you, Ecobank Plc and one Anieka Udoh, whilst being an employee of Eco Bank Plc sometime in 2009, at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable court, negligently failed to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with Major General Umaru Mohammed and fraudulently converted Major General Umaru Mohammed’s Ecobank Domiciliary account to Naira account Number 0015052989 without the knowledge and authority of Major General Umaru Mohammed and consequently left a debit of N9.2Million in the said Naira account.”

At the scheduled arraignment on March 7, 2019, the first defendant, Ecobank had no legal representative.

However at today’s sitting, the first defendant, Ecobank Plc represented by E. Majemite, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against it.

Counsel to the second defendant, Udoh O.J. Owoh informed the court about a pending application for bail on behalf of his client, who pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned.

In her response, counsel to the prosecution, Bilkisu Buhari, objected to the bail application, stating that “the defendant is a flight-risk if granted bail.”

Justice Seidu, after listening to both parties, admitted the second defendant to bail in the sum of N20 million and two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties must be a relation to the second defendant, resident in Lagos and have a landed property in Lagos, whose title documents must be verified by the court.

The second surety must be a civil servant on grade level 16 in Lagos.

The judge also directed that the credentials of the second surety must be verified by the court.

Justice Seidu ordered the second defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions and adjourned to April 9 and 11, 2019 for commencement of trial.

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Business

Labour reacts to CBN ban on forex sale to importers

Comrade lssa Aremu, General Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, (NUTGTWN) has lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for banning sale of Forex to importers of textile materials.

NAN reports that Aremu, also a National Executive Council member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), gave the commendation in llorin on Thursday.

The CBN had in its meeting with stakeholders in the Cotton, Textile, and Garment value chain on March 5, listed all forms of textile materials among items prohibited from foreign exchange in the official windows.

The CBN also promised financial intervention to textile manufacturers at “single digits rate, to refit, retool and upgrade their factories to enable them produce high quality textile materials for the local and export market.”

Aremu, also the Labour Party governorship candidate in Kwara in the March 9 elections, said the action of the CBN would promote growth of the textiles industries in Nigeria.

He observed that smuggling and wholesale importation of textiles had contributed to the closure of many textile industries in the country.

Aremu equated smuggling to “economic terrorism”, adding that the new initiative of the CBN governor would boost local production, create jobs and lessen pressure on forex if fully implemented.

According to him, CBN will make life difficult for smugglers and warned forex dealers in the country to desist from granting any importer of textile material access to foreign currency in the foreign exchange market.

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Details of Zedcrest Capital MD’s case with EFCC emerge

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has grilled Michael Friday Edenya and Adedayo Amzat, Managing Director, Zedcrest Capital Limited, for alleged offences bordering on impersonation and forgery.

Edenya had allegedly delivered forged letters purportedly originating from the EFCC’s Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, to both Access Bank Plc and Coronation Merchant Bank Plc on Friday, August 15, 2018, requesting the account opening package and statement of account of one Rotimi Williams Monye as well as that of his company, Giltedege Partners and Advisory Services Limited.

Edenya, in his statement to the EFCC, stated that the letters were given to him by the second suspect, Amzat, to deliver on behalf of the Commission to the banks.

He further confessed that he posed as an employee of the Commission when he carried out the alleged criminal act at the respective bank.

However, Amzat denied any knowledge of the said letters and investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, a source insisted that Edenya, former staff, should face the music for his alleged action if found culpable

“Due to data protection regulations, the banks checked with the EFCC to confirm the authenticity of the letter and found it to be a forged one. The commission thereafter tried to contact Edenya since last year and was unable to reach him”, he said.

“In fact, the commission reached out to Zedcrest Capital severally, as his previous employers, to assist with the investigation and were also unable to contact him until Monday, 11 March 2019 when he was apprehended.

“In his statement to the EFCC, Edenya claimed that he was given the letter by Amzat to deliver to the banks but this has been disputed by the MD especially as Giltedege Partners and Advisory Services is a partner organization.

“The EFCC has been unable to find any evidence confirming that the MD sanctioned the letter and Zedcrest lawyers are working with the commission to resolve the case”.

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Nigerian government bans Boeing 737 max airplanes

The Nigerian government has banned Boeing 737 Max airplanes from flying into Nigeria’s airspace following a fatal crash in Ethiopia over the weekend.

Hadi Sirika, Minister of Sate, Aviation, disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sirika said, “Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, that has been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane.

“Regardless of the enormous safety records of this plane 737, it has caused concern in the world of aviation and you know aviation is universal, whatever affects one affects the other because aircraft will be flying in and out.

“So, we have issued directive that no operator with Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 should operate into and outside our airports and this is being carried out.”

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