- As Trial Begins Tomorrow
Except for any unforeseen circumstances, the trial before Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, of First Bank Plc, its Trade and Relationship manager, Mazamaza branch, Innocent Chidozie Amadi and two others, over alleged N10, 015, 172, million fraud, will begin on May 13, 2019 (tomorrow).
Apart from the old generation bank, others standing trial are Chukwuma Nnadiekwe and his company, Nilorch Global Services Limited.
The customer allegedly defrauded by First bank and others is one Mrs. Ogochukwu Nkiruka Ezeakunne.
It would be recalled that the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, Ikoyi-Lagos, had on February 17, arraigned First Bank Plc, it’s manager and two others on a seven count-charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence, fraud, issuing of dud cheques and forgery.
According to the prosecutor, Chukwu Agwu, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 8, 1(a)(b)(c)(2)(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006, and section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2006.
The prosecutor equally insisted that the alleged offences contravene sections 17(b) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011, (as amended) and section 1(1)(b)(I) and (ii) of the Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act, 2004.
But the accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and the court fixed the date for trial after granting bail to the accused persons.
According the charge designated FHC/L309c/18, SFU alleged that First Bank, its Trade and Relationship Manager, Amadi and other defendants between January 2014 and January 2015, conspired among themselves to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence, money laundering, forgery, and issuance of dud cheques.
First Bank Plc and its Trade and Relationship Manager, Amadi were equally alleged to have with an intent to defraud, fraudulently obtained the said money from their victim, Mrs. Ezeakunne, with the understanding that the money would be transferred to Capital Trust Limited, a subsidiary of the bank, but failed to do so.
Both First Bank and Amadi were also alleged to have on January 22, 2014, forged the bank’s Local Currency Funds Transfer form with serial number 1955576, of which they inserted the name of Nilorch Global Services Limited, alongside a new generation bank account number 0034615888, as the beneficiary of the money instead of Capital Trust Limited.
The third and fourth defendants, Nnadiekwe and Nilorch Global Services Limited, were also alleged to have on April 9, 2015 and December 29, 2017, with intent to defraud issued a new generation cheque number 00000305 and a Stanbic IBTC Bank’s cheque number: 00000129 to defraud the victim, Mrs. Ezeakunne, for the money fraudulently received from her account number 3040106396 domiciled in First Bank.