Published On: Fri, May 19th, 2017

Alleged $166.9m Fraud: Two bank chiefs in court, arraigned

Godwin Emefiele

The Managing Director of the defunct Integrated Micro-finance Bank Limited  Mr Simon Ademola Adeteye and a director of the bank  Mr Gabriel Adepoju have been arraigned before a Federal High Court Lagos for allegedly granting a loan of $166 .9million without collateral security.

The accused persons were arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun  on a 10-count charge bordering on alleged reckless granting of loans.

The court after taking the plea of the defendants, admitted them to bail in the sum of N10million  with two sureties in the like sum.

The judge also ordered that the two sureties must not be less than Executive Directors in financial institutions, with affidavit of means and evidence of three years tax payment.

Justice Olatoregun therefore ordered the remand of the two defendants in Prison’s custody, pending the time they are able to perfect the bail conditions, while she adjourned the matter till June 16 2017, for commencement of trial.

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The two bank chiefs in a charge marked FHC/L/234c/16, were alleged to have recklessly, without collateral approved credit facilities running  into $166 million USD, and N33.250 million to  themselves and one  Mrs  Temitope Muhammed Imam.

In the charge, the bank’s former M.D/C.E.O. Akinteye, who was slammed with nine counts charge, was alleged to have at different time withdrawn from the bank’s account the total sum of N11 million and diverted it into his personal company named ‘Deblad Nigeria Limited’.

He was also alleged to have unlawfully withdrawn total sum of $166 million USD and  remitted same to the account of the said Temitope Muhammed Imam, domiciled with Citi Bank N. A. of Utica/Clarkson, 702, Utica Avenue, Brooklyn New York, United State of America; and another account domiciled with Washington Mutual, 391, Eastern Parkway, Belford Avenue, New York, USA.

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The second defendant, Adepoju, was alleged to have withdrawn a total sum of N22.250 million, and diverted same to a limited liability company, Gad Press Limited.

The offences according to the prosecutor, A. I. Charles-Okoli (Mrs.), are contrary to sections 18 (1)(a) and 18(3) and 15(1)(a)(I) Banks and other financial Institution Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 18(2) and 16(1)(a) of the same Act.

Prior to the arraignment of the defendants, their lawyer, A. O. Sheriff, through a notice of preliminary objection, urged court to dismiss the charge on the ground that the defendants had earlier been acquitted and discharged by Justice Okon Abang of the same court, when they were formerly arraigned.

But Ocholi pleaded with the court to discountenance the submissions of the defence counsel, saying that the argument of Sheriff could only be looked into after the accused had taken their plea and issues were joined .

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Ocholi further told the court that the facts of the matter were never the same. She then asked the court to reject Sheriff’s submission.

After listening to both parties, Justice Olatoregun  overruled the defence counsel and urged the defendants to take their pleas.

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