How Former FinBank MD Goes To Prison Over N10.9bn Fraud



Former FinBank MD goes to jail over fraud in Nigeria

THECONSCIENCE reports that a former Finbank MD has been sent to jail over fraud.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday January 5, 2021 convicted and sentenced Okey Nwosu, a former Managing Director, Finbank Plc, to three years imprisonment for over N10billion fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Nwosu alongside Dayo Famuroti, Agnes Ebubedike and Danjuma Ocholi on a 26-count amended charge bordering on stealing and illegal conversion to the tune of N10,934,704,402.

The defendants, who perpetrated the fraud while they were directors of Finbank, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs , SAN, called witnesses and also tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence against the defendants.

Delivering her judgment, the Judge found the defendants guilty and sentenced the first and second defendants, Nwosu and Famoroti, to three years imprisonment each.

The Judge also sentenced the third defendant, Ocholi, to 12 months imprisonment and slammed a six- month community service on the fourth defendant, Ebubedike.

The case had, suffered a setback as the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the trial court up to the Supreme Court.

While the court maintained its jurisdiction to try the defendants, the ex Finbank boss approached the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which in November 2013 struck out the charge against the banker.

The appellate court ruled that the Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charges because they emanated from capital market transactions, which should be handled by the Federal High Court.

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Following the appeal court ruling, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike approached the Lagos High Court to dismiss the charges preferred against them.

Former Bank MD goes to jail over fraud in Nigeria

But Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to EFCC had prayed the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the determination of its appeal at the Supreme Court.

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Justice Okunnu upheld the prayers of Jacobs and adjourned the matter sine die to allow the Supreme Court rule on the matter.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment, upheld EFCC’s appeal.

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The Seven-man panel in a unanimous judgment faulted the argument of the Court of Appeal that the decision by the EFCC to charge Nwosu and the other directors for stealing before the Lagos High Court, while it maintained a charge of money laundering against them, would amount to double jeopardy.

The Supreme Court had directed Nwosu and co- defendants to submit themselves for trial before the Lagos High Court.

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