EFCC Again Arraigns Atuche And Two Others For Forgery

Channels Television  
Updated March 26, 2013

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the sacked Managing Director of Bank PHB (now Key Stone Bank), Mr. Francis Atuche on a fresh 9-count charge of forgery.

This is the third in the series of charges brought against Mr. Atuche by the EFCC since his removal as the bank’s chief executive officer in 2008.

In the fresh charges before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, the former bank boss was arraigned alongside two officials of Central Shared Services Centre, an arm of Keystone Bank Limited, Joachim Nnosiri and Uguru Onyike.

In the charges, the EFCC alleges that the former bank boss and the others had on the 4th of March, 2013 in Lagos, attempted to smuggle forged board resolutions of some companies into Keystone Bank, the successor of Bank PHB.

The anti-graft agency also claimed that the forged board resolutions were said to have emanated from Future View Securities Limited, Tradjeck Limited and Extra Oil Limited.

According to the EFCC, the main purpose of the board resolutions was to request a N10.9 billion credit facility from the bank.

The resolutions were allegedly signed by the managing director of the companies, Mrs Elizabeth Ebi and addressed to Keystone Bank.

Mrs. Ebi had earlier testified in another case against Mr. Atuche in which he is facing a N25.7 billion fraud trial before Justice Okunnu of a Lagos High Court also sitting in Ikeja.

In that case, she testified that Mr. Atuche had granted a N10.9 billion loan facility to her companies without their knowledge or request.

The EFCC had contended that the alleged offence contravenes Sections 361 and 409 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

The former bank manager and his co-defendants have, however, pleaded not guilty to these allegations.

The court has fixed hearing of the bail application till the 27th and 28th of March.

Justice Onigbanjo also adjourned trial in the matter till the 10th of October 2013.