Home Finance EFCC re- arraigns 3 Bank PHB officials, Indian businessman over N850m fraud

EFCC re- arraigns 3 Bank PHB officials, Indian businessman over N850m fraud

by Business News Report

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned an Indian businessman, Ashok Isran, over an N850 million fraud. Isran was re- arraigned alongside his company, Nulec Industries Ltd., Bank PHB Plc (now Keystone Bank) and three management staff of the bank — Anayo Nwosu, Olajide Oshodi and Sunny Obazee.

The suspects were re-arraigned before Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja. They are facing a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money through pretence. The accused had been arraigned on Aug. 8, 2012 before Justice Habeeb Abiru, who was recently elevated to the Court of Appeal. They had pleaded not guilty to the charge and Abiru granted Isran bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.
The judge had also granted the bank workers N100 million bail and directed the chairman of the board of the bank to write a letter of undertaking that Nwosu, Oshodi and Obazee would be in court for their trial. During Tuesday’s proceedings, EFCC counsel, Mrs Taiwo Ogunleye, informed the court of the development and asked that the defendants be ordered to re-take their pleas. Ogunleye said the suspects between July, 2008 and August, 2008 in Lagos defrauded a businessman, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie, of the amount.

She said that the bank had collected the money from Chukwudozie as payment for preference shares of Nulec Industries in an upcoming initial public offer. The prosecutor further said the public offer never took place and added that it was a ploy by the defendants to defraud the complainant. She said the offences contravened the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006. All the accused again pleaded not guilty to the charges and the judge permitted them to enjoy the bail terms earlier granted them by Abiru. Akinlade also granted permission to Isran to travel to Geneva for medical treatment. The case was adjourned till May 28 for trial.

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