Atuche used 18 companies to steal Bank PHP fund – EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday accused the former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, of buying the bank’s shares for 18 companies belonging to him and his wife, Elizabeth Atuche.
David Nkpe, a field investigator with the EFCC who made the allegation, before a Lagos High Court sitting in ikeja, also said that the shares, worth billions of naira, were fraudulently purchased using funds belonging to Bank PHB.
The EFCC had charged Mr Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu to court for allegedly stealing over N25.7 billion belonging to Bank PHB (now KeyStone Bank) between November 2007 and April 2008, while Mr Atuche was the Chief Executive Officer of the bank.
Mr Nkpe who was led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Kemi Pinheiro, said that the 18 companies belonging to the former bank chief executive officer purchased the shares during a public offer by Bank PHB in May 2007.
The companies are Claremount Investment Limited, Montrax Investico, Stanford Global Limited, Arabian Probity, Consolidated Business Support Limited, Commercial Trading Limited and Filemon Enterprise.
It also includes Oakwood Asset Limited, Ventures Resources, Caledonia Enterprise, Financial Company Limited, Claremount Asset Management Limited, Clairville Business Support.
Others are Gazali Yakubu Limited, Afco Associate Limited, Septron Trading Limited, Guess-Trade Services Limited and Nolly Investment Limited.
The EFCC witness said a thorough investigation and confirmation from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) revealed that these companies were mainly owned by the Atuches.
According to him, these companies never repaid the money back to Bank PHB despite the fact that the transactions placed them on the top 1,000 list of the bank’s shareholders.
The Presiding Justice Lateefah Okunnu adjourned till Wednesday, 28 March for continuation of trial.