EFCC accuses Atuche of embezzling N45 million to pay church tithes Reviewed by Momizat on . The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused a former managing director of  the defunct Bank PHB (now Keystone bank), Francis Atuche of using The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused a former managing director of  the defunct Bank PHB (now Keystone bank), Francis Atuche of using Rating:
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EFCC accuses Atuche of embezzling N45 million to pay church tithes

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused a former managing director of  the defunct Bank PHB (now Keystone bank), Francis Atuche of using depositors’ funds to pay N45 million in church tithes.

Lead prosecution counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, on Wednesday made the accusation at the Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, while leading in evidence a key witness, Solomon Abolaji Ogunsola, a former staff of PHB Mortgages Limited.

Mr Atuche allegedly paid the money from an account of PHB Mortgage Limited.

Mr Pinheiro presented documents in court, some of them e-mails sent as an order to release the sum of N35 million to St. Monica Catholic church, Ibusa, Delta State, and another sum of N10million to another St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Mr Ogunsola told the court that Mr Atuche sent the money to the two churches in Delta State because he hails from the state.

He also admitted knowing two companies: Claremount Nigeria Limited and Claremount Asset Management. He said that Claremount Nigeria Limited had a call account with his bank and the account was owned by Mr Atuche.

He explained that the only document on the call account’s file was a reference letter which bears Mr Atuche’s name. The document was admitted as exhibit.

In addition, various transactions carried out by Mr Atuche in his statements of account with Claremount Nigeria Limited and Claremount Asset Management Limited were read. Mr Atuche had denied having anything to do with the two companies.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu admitted the accounts as exhibits.

The EFCC counsel also led in evidence, one Andy Uzomor, another staff of PHB Mortgage Limited, who presented a 39-page document before the court as exhibit.

The presentation of the document was opposed by lead defence counsel, Anthony Idigbe, who claimed that some of the documents had to do with a N20million transaction between his law chambers and Mr Atuche.

Mr Idigbe urged the court not to admit the particular section as it will deny Mr Atuche a right to a counsel of his choice. According to him, if the document was admitted either himself or his client will have to go into the witness box, which might force his chamber out of the case.

But the EFCC lawyer insisted that Mr Idigbe’s objections lacked substance in law.

According to him, some of the documents pertained to an account that Mr Atuche had disowned. Besides, he referred to Section 38, sub-section 1 of the EFCC Establishment Act which grants the EFCC power to seek and receive information from anybody.

After listening to all their submissions, Justice Okunnu admitted the documents as exhibits and adjourned the case till 4 October 2012 for futher hearing.

 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/atombayo Abraham A Atomode

    And if I may ask, what made the said transfer to the church tagged tithe and not offering, donation or any other? Or was it the church that confirmed it as tithe?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/KCFCIIC2ZIKS5Y5LPUK7JMK7TE Plasma

       Thanks for that. This is what you get when over zealous journalists want to sensationalize everything.

  • http://twitter.com/festog festus ogbeifun

    what is all these?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KX3ZLVEENVBZY64RM3B3QCO5PU olisa

    tithe of 45million??meaning he earns abt 450million monthly…hmmmmmm! interesting

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/KCFCIIC2ZIKS5Y5LPUK7JMK7TE Plasma

       Once off payment dude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dele.olusesi Dele Ace Olusesi

     you can tell before 4 October 2012,money would have exchanged hands between lawyers and judges and this greedy dickhead will be out free with all charges dropped…The so called tithes that these churches receive are never put back to the society in any form and i wonder if he pays his taxes..EFCC is a joke..no one is going to jail,yet they come up with numerous fraud allegations…SMH

  • brighto90

    Sir! which day are you attending my church?  i need tithe from you

  • Buggyman

    Pls more update on why the church receive the money….We thank God, his is in a church here in the Country (Nigeria) some wire transfer theirs to other Countries and some use theirs (stolen money) to purchase materials to Bomb churches and other areas by BOKO HARAM

  • SIRAJ MUHAMMAD FUNTUA

    Majority of  Nigerians in the position of power are always into scandals and all sorts of irresponsible character exhibition; while the government do nothing at the end of the day. The govt have to know and be aware that most citizens of this great nation are getting fed up with the double standard of governance by the Nigerian leaders. The present crop of politicians should remedy the situation before the 100% patient citizens change to zero % tolerance of this political kangaroo.

  • SIRAJ MUHAMMAD FUNTUA

    Majority of  Nigerians in the position of power are always into scandals
    and all sorts of irresponsible character exhibition; while the
    government do nothing at the end of the day. The govt have to know and
    be aware that most citizens of this great nation are getting fed up with
    the double standard of governance by the Nigerian leaders. The present
    crop of politicians should remedy the situation before the 100% patient
    citizens change to zero % tolerance of this political kangaroo. But if the person is guilty; the culprits should be spared by the law. This is because it is highest level of character assassination.

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