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Banking fraud: You have case to answer, Court tells Nwosu, others

Okey Nwosu and three former directors of the bank, insisting they all have explanations to give on the charges preferred against them by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former bank MD alongside former directors, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike are being prosecuted by EFCC for allegedly stealing N10.9 billion belonging to the bank.
On September 16, 2013, the defendants in separate no-case submissions, filed applications asking the court to dismiss the theft charge preferred against them by the anti-graft agency, arguing that no prima-facie case had been established against them.
But in her ruling yesterday, Justice Lateefat Okunnu held that the prosecution’s case against the defendants warranted explanations. She said from the evidence before the court, the defendants granted loans worth N20 billion to seven companies which were not customers of Finbank.
She pointed out that the prosecution claimed that the loans were granted without the knowledge or approval of the bank’s board of directors. She said the prosecution further alleged that the shares purchased with the loans were disbursed through a company, Springboard Investment Ltd. to the companies.
“This is enough to make it expedient for the defendants to give explanations to the court. The evidential burden of proof has been shifted to the defendants. It is my finding that the respective no-case submissions of the defendants cannot be upheld. Each of the four applications before the court therefore failed and they are accordingly dismissed,” Okunnu said.
Justice Okunu then adjourned the matter till December 16, 2013.

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