16 January 2013

Nigeria: Judge Allows Atuche, Ojo to Continue On Old Bail

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered a Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, to continue on the bail granted him by a judge before whom he was initially arraigned.

Justice Ofili Ajumogobia gave the order while ruling on a bail application filed before him by Atuche after his re-arraignment over money laundering.

Ajumogobia also held that a Managing Director of the defunct Spring Bank, Charles Ojo, would also continue on the bail earlier granted him by Justice Akinjide Ajakaiye.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

re-arraigned the former managing directors before Ajumogobia on Nov. 16, 2012 on a 45-count charge.

They were accused of fraudulently granting credit facilities, shares manipulation and general banking fraud to the tune of more than N125 billion.

Counsel to the defendants had urged Ajumogobia to allow their clients to continue on the bail granted them in 2009 by Ajakaiye.

The counsel submitted that the former bank chiefs had been coming for their trials and would continue to do so.

The prosecution, led by Mr Sebastine Hon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, did not oppose the applications.

NAN reports that the EFCC arraigned the defendants before Ajakaiye on Oct. 28, 2009, on a 26-count charge of money laundering.

Ajumogobia adjourned the case to Feb. 18.

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