A Federal High Court Lagos, will on November 11, resume trial of a former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, standing trial over N125 billion fraud.
Atuche is charged alongside a former Managing Director of Spring Bank, Charles Ojo, on an amended 45-count charge.
According to the charge, the defendants were alleged to have granted credit facilities, manipulated shares and committed general banking fraud to the tune of N125 billion.
The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 7(2) (b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2004, and Sections 15(1) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act, 2004; and the provisions of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004, as well as Section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 200.
The defendants were arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu on February 20, 2014, before the judge was transferred out of the Lagos jurisdiction.
Following the transfer of Saidu, the case file was re-assigned to Justice Ayokunle Faji and the defendants were subsequently re-arraigned before the court on February 18, 2017.
Although Justice Saidu was eventually returned to the Lagos division, the matter still continued before Justice Faji.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges on their re-arraignment, while the court had allowed them to continue on the earlier bail granted by Saidu.
At the last adjourned date, June 11, a second prosecution witness Mrs. Philipa Odesi, had in her lead examination, given evidence about the operation of credit facilities in the bank.
The court had subsequently adjourned the case until June 17 for a continuation of the trial.
When the case was mentioned on Monday, Mr. Chukwudi Enebeli who announced appearance for the prosecution, informed the court that the prosecution had issued service of a subpoena signed by the court, on Keystone Bank last week.
He said the subpoena was for the bank to produce certain documents necessary for the trial, adding that a representative of the bank, one Mr. Eze Asiegbu was present in court.
The prosecution, however, informed the court that all documents had not been gathered, and in the circumstance, sought a further date for trial.
Justice Faji consequently, adjourned the case until November 11, 15, 28, and 29 as well as December 3, 4 and 5 for a continuation of the trial.