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Case Trial for Former Keystone MD, Francis Atuche Continues in Lagos High Court

Channels Television  
Updated January 19, 2012

he trial of the former Managing Director of Keystone Bank (formerly called Bank PHB), Mr Francis Atuche, his wife Elizabeth and one Ugo Anyanwu, a former director of the bank, continued today at the Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

Court Gavel

In the court room, the fifth prosecution witness, a relationship manager, Miss Helen Eriyo testified that the transactions for which the trio are standing trial took place before she joined the bank on the 3 December 2007.

Led in evidence by counsel to the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Kemi Pinheiro, the witness said she brought in a big customer, Mr Peter Ololo and had secured five accounts from him, which she opened in the head office branch of the bank shortly after her resumption.

Under cross examination, the witness admitted that she was not aware of a N4billion loan facility approved for her client Mr Ololo, an approval granted in November 2007 under one of the accounts, Peterson Oil and Gas which she opened for him in the bank a month later in December.

Though she agreed that all documentation including application for loan, board resolution,offer of facility and availment utilization ticket were all prepared before she opened the account, she explained that it was not an unusual occurrence as the bank has a deferral framework to enable it have an edge in the market.

According to the witness, Miss Eriyo, the bank has what is called a time shift, a procedure where the bank makes a pre-packaged proposal to a customer they wanted to entice though disbursement of such funds cannot be processed until an account is opened though this is not in all situations” as it depends on the agreement between the bank and the potential customer.

However, she contradicted herself in her testimony. The statement she made at the EFCC which was tendered before the court by the defence team where she wrote that she assumed duty in November 2007 instead of December 3, 2007 that she told the court.

The case has been adjourned till Friday the 20 January, 2012 for continuation of trial.