Adetunji Abudu, a former managing director of New Prudential Mortgage Bank Limited, has been convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment for N195m fraud.

Justice I.N. Buba of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State gave the ruling following his arraignment and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to a statement by the anti-graft agency, Abudu was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering and embezzlement, in 2016.

The agency said his offence is contrary to the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2004, Section 18(8) and punishable under Section 18 (11) of the BOFIA LFN 2004.

Abudu was alleged to have obtained a N35 million loan and another N110 million loan without authorisation when he was the bank's managing director.

The former New Prudent Bank boss also approved the setting off of a N50 million loan granted to Total Access Concept Limited by Addoser Micro-finance Bank, which was also not authorised in accordance with the bank’s policy and in contravention of BOFIA 2004.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the course of the trial, A.B.C. Oziokor, the lead prosecution counsel, called seven prosecution witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

On his part,  Abudu called five witnesses.

Delivering his judgment on Justice Buba found the defendant guilty on counts one, two, three and four, as charged.

The judge said, “The court has considered the fact that the convict is a first-time offender, a family man, and a breadwinner. The court will be lenient, given that the convict is a first offender. But this will also send the right signal that it is this type of attitude that has led our financial institutions into trouble.

“This is a matter the convict should not have allowed going through the rigors of a criminal trial, having been given the opportunity to refund the money. But he still remained obstinate.”

The judge, therefore, sentenced the convict to two years on counts one, two, three and four, without an option of fine, with effect from the day of the judgment.

The sentences are to run concurrently. 

The convict was ordered to make restitution to the complainant, in accordance with Section 321(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, “if the properties released cannot meet up the amount of exposure to the complainant".

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