Third ‘Armed Bank Withdrawal’ In A Week In Lebanon

Abed Soubra, a depositor who stormed a bank demanding to withdraw his frozen savings, speaks from the window of the Blom Bank branch in the capital Beirut’s Tariq al-Jdideh neighbourhood on September 16, 2022. (Photo by Ibrahim AMRO / AFP)

 

 

A Lebanese man carrying a gun and a jerrican of fuel withdrew his frozen savings at gunpoint Friday, the third such incident in the crisis-hit country this week.

When a branch of the Byblos bank opened in the southern town of Ghaziyeh, a depositor, reported to be in his 50s, stormed the premises with his adult son.

He threatened bank employes with a gun, which a Lebanese TV channel said may have been a toy, and demanded his savings.

“He emptied a jerrican of fuel on the floor,” a bank security guard told an AFP reporter.

The man walked away with around $19,000 and turned himself in to the police moments later as a crowd formed in front of the bank to support him.

It was the latest in a series of heists in Lebanon, where the savings of depositors have been devalued and trapped in banks for almost three years amid a crippling economic crisis.

They are usually acts of economic desperation by depositors with no criminal record trying to settle bills, and have drawn wide sympathy among the general public.

 

The glass facade of a bank in the Lebanese capital Beirut is broken, after a woman stormed it demanding access to her sister’s deposits to allegedly pay for her hospital fees, on September 14, 2022. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

 

On Wednesday, a young woman held up a bank in central Beirut using a similar modus operandi, in what she said was an attempt to retrieve the savings of her sister, a cancer patient.

Sali Hafiz became an instant hero on social media, and a phone picture of standing on a desk inside the bank during the heist became viral.

Also on Wednesday, a man held up a bank in the city of Aley northeast of Beirut, the official National News Agency reported.

Last month, a man received widespread sympathy after he stormed a Beirut bank with a rifle and held employees and customers hostage for hours, to demand some of his $200,000 in frozen savings to pay hospital bills for his sick father.

He was detained but swiftly released.

Lebanon has been battered by one of its worst-ever economic crises.

Its currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value on the black market, while poverty and unemployment have soared.

Lebanese Woman Robs Bank To Pay For Sister’s Cancer Treatment

The glass facade of a bank in the Lebanese capital Beirut is broken, after a woman stormed it demanding access to her sister’s deposits to allegedly pay for her hospital fees, on September 14, 2022. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

 

A Lebanese woman held up a Beirut bank on Wednesday and reportedly walked out with thousands of dollars to fund what she said was hospital treatment for her ill sister.

The move and another heist Wednesday come as Lebanese depositors — whose savings have been devalued and trapped in banks for almost three years amid an economic collapse — take matters into their own hands.

Sali Hafiz streamed a live video of her raid on a Beirut branch of Blom Bank, in which she could be heard yelling at employees to release a sum of money while entrances to the bank were sealed.

“I am Sali Hafiz, I came today… to take the deposits of my sister who is dying in the hospital,” she said in the video.

“I did not come to kill anyone or to start a fire… I came to claim my rights.”


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In an interview with a local broadcaster after the heist, Hafiz said she managed to free around $13,000 from the $20,000 she said her family had deposited.

Cancer treatment for her sister costs $50,000, she said.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said gasoline had been poured inside the bank during the heist, which lasted under an hour.

Hafiz told local media she had used her nephew’s toy pistol for the hold-up.

Hafiz and suspected accomplices managed to escape through a smashed window out the back of the bank before security forces arrived, the AFP correspondent said.

Also on Wednesday, a man held up a bank in the city of Aley northeast of Beirut, the official National News Agency (NNA) reported.

He was arrested, the NNA said, without specifying if he managed to take any money.

‘Thank you’

Hafiz is a 28-year-old activist and interior designer, her sister Zeina told AFP.

She said the family had not been in touch with Hafiz since the heist and was not involved in its planning.

Hafiz instantly turned into a folk hero on social media in Lebanon, where many are desperate to access their savings and furious at a banking sector perceived as a corrupt cartel.

Pictures and footage of her standing on a desk inside the bank carrying a gun went viral on social media.

“Thank you,” one Twitter user wrote. “Two weeks ago I cried at Blom Bank. I needed the money for a surgery. I am too weak to hold a gun and take what is mine.”

Last month, a man received widespread sympathy after he stormed a Beirut bank with a rifle and held employees and customers hostage for hours to demand some of his $200,000 in frozen savings to pay hospital bills for his sick father.

He was detained but swiftly released.

In January, a bank customer held dozens of people hostage in eastern Lebanon after he was told he could not withdraw his foreign currency savings, a source at the lender said.

Local media reported that the customer was eventually given some of his savings and surrendered to security forces.

Lebanon has been battered by its worst-ever economic crisis since 2019. The local currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value on the black market, while poverty and unemployment have soared.

Nearly $700m Stolen From Iraq State Banks – Graft Body

CBN Plans $100m Sale At Special Auction
US dollar notes.

 

Nearly $700 million in public funds has been misappropriated from state-run banks in Iraq in a scandal implicating more than 40 people, an anti-corruption commission said Thursday, after a three-year probe.

A total of 926 billion Iraqi dinars ($697 million) went missing due to “forgery, embezzlement, manipulation, money laundering (and) abuse of position”, the Commission for Integrity said in a statement.

The alleged fraud took place at a branch of Maysan province’s agricultural bank, as well as four branches of Rasheed Bank in Maysan and the capital Baghdad, the commission said.

The commission did not specify the timeframe of the offences, but a commission official, who did not want to be named, said investigations into suspected illegal activity began in 2019.

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“Arrest warrants will be issued against 41 people suspected” of wrongdoing over the affair, the official added.

The commission said bank employees and even customers were among those implicated in a scandal that amounts to a “process of organised sabotage against the national economy”.

Corruption plagues all levels of the Iraqi state, but middle managers, rather than top officials, tend to bear the brunt of anti-graft campaigns.

Official figures published last year estimated that well over 400 billion dollars has gone missing from state coffers in the near two decades since dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

The country ranks 157 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.

Major anti-regime protests in late 2019 were spurred in large part by anger over corruption and the related dilapidation of public services.

AFP

MTN Gets CBN Approval To Operate Payment Service Bank

Alleged 10bn Sanction: MTN, FG Settle Out Of Court
File photo of MTN office.

 

Telecommunication giant, MTN, has received the final approval to operate as Momo Payment Service Bank Limited (Momo PSB).

The approval was granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), according to a statement issued on Monday by MTN Secretary, Uro Ukpanah.

“MTN Nigeria Communications PIc (MN Nigeria) announces the receipt of a letter dated 8 April 2022 from the CBN addressed to Momo PSB conveying final approval to commence operations,” the statement partly read.

“The date of commencement will be communicated to the CBN in accordance with its requirements.

“MTN Nigeria affirms its commitment towards the financial inclusion agenda of the CBN and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we are excited at this opportunity to support its fulfilment.”

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PSB operators provide financial services through digital means to low-income earners and people that do not use banks or banking institutions for transactions.

They are expected to operate in rural regions and areas where Nigerians do not have bank accounts and should have at least 50 percent physical access points in rural areas.

Following the CBN nod, MTN Nigeria will join the likes of Moneymaster PSB, a subsidiary of Glo, and 9PSB, a subsidiary of 9mobile, to operate in the fintech space.

Alleged N26.6bn Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Ex-Bank PHB Director, Funmi Adenmosun

File photo of Funmi Adenmosun.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a former director of Bank PHB (now Keystone), Funmi Adenmosun, before a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos for an alleged N26.6 billion money laundering.

Adenmosun was arraigned alongside his company, Home Trust Savings and Loan Limited and a private company, Rare Properties and Development Limited.

They were arraigned before Justice Daniel Osiagor on a 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and fraudulent conversion of the proceeds of private placement raised from the public in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc.

The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, who informed the court of the 10-count charge dated January 5, 2020, urged the court to direct that the charge be read to the defendants.

After the reading of the charge, Adenmosun pleaded not guilty to all 10-counts.

The prosecutor, Oyedepo then requested a trial date and urged the court to remand him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the determination of the charge.

Adenmosun’s lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wale Adesokan, however, told the court that a bail application dated January 13, 2022, had been filed and the same had been served on the prosecution.

He urged the court to instead hand over Adenmosun to him after giving an assurance that the defendant would always attend court for the hearing of his case.

But, Justice Osiagor refused the request and granted him bail in the sum of N250 million with two sureties.

The judge directed that one of the sureties must be a grade level 15 officer in either the federal or state ministry, while the other surety must be a blood relation of the defendant and a property owner within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge further directed that the defendant should be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail application.

The matter has been adjourned to February 24, 25th and March 4, 2022, for hearing.

 

Below are the counts against the defendant:
“That you, FUNMI ADENMOSUN AND HOME TRUST SAVINGS AND LOAN LIMITED AND RARE PROPERTIES AND DEVELOPMENT LIMITED sometimes in 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N26, 6000 096,006.00 (Twenty Six Billion, Six Hundred Million Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the proceeds of private placement raised from the public in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (2) (b) of the same Act”.
“Count 2: That you, FUNMI ADENMOSUN AND HOME TRUST SAVINGS AND LOAN LIMITED On or about the 8th day of November: 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly transferred the sum of N450,000,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) to Rare Properties and Development Limited which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Pic and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 3: That you, RARE PROPERTIES AND DEVELOPMENT LIMITED on or about the 8″ day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N450,000,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the Name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 4: That you, FUNMI ADENMOSUN AND HOME TRUST SAVINGS AND LOAN LIMITED on or about the 9″ day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly transferred the sum of N610.600,000.00 (Six Hundred and Ten Million Naira) to Rare Properties and Development Limited which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 5: That you, RARE PROPERTIES AND DEVELOPMENT LIMITED on or about the 9th day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N610,000,000.00 (Six Hundred And Ten Million Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an Offence contrary to section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 6: That you, FUNMI ADENMOSUN AND HOME TRUST SAVINGS AND LOAN LIMITED on or about the 12th day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly transferred the sum of N702,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Two Million Naira) to Rare Properties and Development Limited which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 7: That you, RARE PROPERTIES AND DEVELOPMENT LIMITED on or about the 12th day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N702,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Two Million Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Pic and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 8: That you, FUNMI ADENMOSUN AND HOME TRUST SAVINGS AND LOAN LIMITED on or about the 13th day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly transferred the sum of N706,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Six Million) to Rare Properties and Development Limited which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the Name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 9: That you, RARE PROPERTIES AND DEVELOPMENT LIMITED on or about the 13th day of November 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court retained the sum of N706,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Six Million Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
“Count 10: That you FUNMI ADENMOSUN AND HOME TRUST SAVINGS AND LOAN LIMITED between 14th day of November and 31st day of December 2007 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly transferred the aggregate sum of N12,572,001,050.00 (Twelve Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, One Thousand, Fifty Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of fraudulent conversion of the funds raised from the subscribers to the private placement conducted in the name of Investments & Allied Assurance Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

Malawi Police Arrest Former Minister, Bank Chief For Lying To IMF

Map of Malawi

 

Malawi police have arrested a former finance minister and an ex-central bank chief for fabricating figures in a bid to impress the IMF, they said on Wednesday.

Joseph Mwanamveka, 57, and Reserve Bank of Malawi former governor, Dalitso Kabambe, 48, are accused of having cooked up numbers to secure a loan from the Washington-based development and crisis lender.

The two “masterminded the falsification of gross liability and net reserve base returns with intent to make International Monetary Fund believe that the government of Malawi was meeting conditions connected to the extended credit facility,” a police statement said.

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When it found out, the IMF suspended the facility, “to the prejudice of innocent ordinary Malawians”, it said.

Both served under former president Peter Mutharika’s administration from 2014 to 2021.

Mutharika lost power to Lazarus Chakwera in last year’s presidential election re-run,  after the courts dramatically annulled his initial re-election over irregularities.

Before he became finance minister, Mwanamveka was CEO of government-owned Malawi Savings Bank, which was sold to a privately held lender during his tenure.

Police said Mwanamveka will also be questioned over the 2015 “fraudulent sale” of the savings bank.

In an unrelated case, a lawmaker and former local government minister Ben Phiri was also arrested on Wednesday for fraud and corruption.

The three arrests are the latest by Chakwera’s administration, which romped to power on promises of fighting corruption in one of the poorest nations in the world.

AFP

Two Policemen Shot Dead In Osun Bank Robbery

A Logo of the Nigerian Police Force

 

Two policemen have been killed by armed robbers who attacked a commercial bank in Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State.

The robbers – numbering about 20 – who came in about four vehicles also attacked the Divisional Police Headquarters in Iragbiji.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Opalola Olawoyin, confirmed the attack in a statement on Wednesday.

She identified those killed as Inspector Ogunbiyi Ahmed and Inspector Odeyemi Ayinla, saying they were killed while chasing the fleeing criminals.

“The gunmen invaded the Police Divisional Headquarters and a bank with sporadic shooting and launching of explosive devices in an attempt to disorganise, incapacitate and destabilise the police who were in a fierce gun battle with them, while robbing the bank simultaneously,” said Olawoyin.

“As a result, some parts of the Divisional Police Headquarters were damaged. The daredevils also shot at Police Armoured Personnel Carrier tyres with explosive devices.”

The assailants gained entry into the bank by blowing off its security door with a stick of dynamite and subsequently destroyed an ATM machine there.

But an attempt to break into the bank’s strong room was foiled.

Upon sighting the policemen, the robbers reportedly engaged them in a fight, but later fled the scene, abandoning their unused explosives and two of their vehicles.

According to Olawoyinm, police officers in collaboration with local security outfits are already combing the bushes in a bid to arrest the robbers said to have escaped with multiple injuries.

On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Osun, Olawale Olokode, asked residents to cooperate with the police.

He asked them to provide prompt and useful information about anybody seen with gunshot wounds, in a bid to nip in the bud all criminal activities in the state.

Fear Of Attack Forces Banks, Shops To Close In Ogun

A map of Ogun, a state in southwest Nigeria.

 

The fear of an imminent attack has forced banks and shops to shut down in the Ijebu-Ode area of Ogun State.

Channels Television gathered that commercial banks and shops have closed since Monday following letters allegedly sent to some of them by suspected armed robbers.

This situation has left some residents and customers stranded which has been seen as a proactive measure by the banks to forestall the alleged threat.

Despite this incident, the banks maintained that they would only resume operations if the Ogun State Government assists the police with Armoured Personnel Carriers to be mounted close to their branches.

Reacting to the development, some residents of Ijebu-Ode lamented that they have been travelling to places like Sagamu, Abeokuta, and others to deposit or withdraw money.

But the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said there is no reason for fear of attacks, saying the police had assured the banks and residents of their safety.

“They are just entertaining fear where there is none; even the Area Commander and the DPOs have assured them that there is no need to fear,” he said.

“Why should they be afraid because there are no Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC)? Even if the APCs are working, is it not the police that will operate them?

“The police are on the ground to provide adequate security of lives and properties; they are the ones that know why they are entertaining fear. We have assured them of their protection and our presence everywhere in Ijebu-Ode and everywhere in Ogun State. There is no reason to be panicking.

“Despite all these assurances, they still doubt the sincerity of the police, I don’t know the motive behind this,” he added.

 

 

AITEO vs Shell: Court Fixes March 9 For Ruling

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed March 9 to rule on whether to discharge the interim ex-parte order it granted freezing the bank accounts of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 20 commercial banks.

On the same day, the court will also rule on whether it has the jurisdiction to even entertain the suit and another seeking to commit to prison the banks and its officials who were said to have disobeyed the interim ex-parte order.

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo had granted the order at the instance of AITEO Eastern E&P Company Ltd. who is seeking to recover the cash value of “more than 16 million barrels of crude oil” allegedly diverted by Shell.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, the judge listened to arguments from lawyers to AITEO Eastern E&P Company Ltd., SPDC, the banks, and lawyer to four Shell subsidiaries all involved in the matter.

Arguing the application for committal, counsel to Aiteo Eastern E&P, Kemi Pinheiro, said that it was “necessary that the named persons in committal proceedings (the bank officials) be present in court” because the proceedings “attached to their person”.

He said the alleged contemnors had been served with the court processes but had not filed a response.

AITEO had specifically said two banks and their officials disobeyed the courts interim ex-parte order.

The banks and its officials were listed as Citi Bank Ltd., its Company Secretary Sola Fagbure, and Chief Financial Officer, Sharaf Mohammed, as well as United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, its Company Secretary, Bill Odum, and Chief Financial Officer, Ebenezer Kolawole.

In opposing the application, counsel to the banks, Olawale Akoni, acknowledged that they were served with the court papers on February 24 and 25, but said they were still within the time limit to file a response.

He indicated that the banks intended to challenge the competence and validity of AITEO’s application.

The lawyer also asked the court to make an order vacating the ex-parte order freezing the accounts because according to him, it lapsed 14 days after it was made.

Adewale Atake, who represented Shell, aligned himself with Akoni’s argument on vacating the ex-parte order.

Chukwuka Ikwuazom, also who represented the Shell subsidiaries, made a similar submission and drew the court’s attention to a pending application before the court challenging its jurisdiction to hear the matter.

He asked the judge to declare that the ex-parte order was spent.

Pinheiro, however, countered by arguing among others that the court made the order to last pending the hearing of the motion and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before it by AITEO.

He described the defendants’ arguments as “premature, unfair, and time-wasting.”

In her response, Justice Oguntoyinbo held, “The avalanche of submissions cannot be wished away. The court owes all parties the duty of careful consideration of all authorities cited.”

She adjourned till next Tuesday for the ruling.

In the case, AITEO Eastern E&P Company Ltd. is the plaintiff/applicants while SPDC Ltd. is the first defendant.

The subsidiaries Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Shell Western Supply and Trading Ltd., Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd., and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd. are listed as second, third, fourth, and fifth defendants.

On January 25, Justice Oguntoyinbo directed the banks to “ring-fence any cash, bonds, deposits, all forms of negotiable instruments to the value of $2.7 billion and pay all standing credits to the Shell companies up to the value into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court.”

The Chief Registrar was to “hold the funds in trust,” pending the hearing of the motion and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed before the court by AITEO.

This followed an application by AITEO Eastern E&P, in its bid to recover the cash value of its “more than 16 million barrels of crude oil” allegedly diverted by Shell.

The defendants subsequently filed an application seeking to discharge the order while AITEO initiated committal proceedings against two banks and their officials for allegedly “interfering, obstructing and/or frustrating compliance with the interim Mareva orders”.

On Thursday last week, the judge adjourned to consider whether to first entertain a motion challenging its jurisdiction or to consider contempt proceedings.

Court Convicts Former Bank MD, Three Others Over ₦18bn Theft

Logo of a court gavel

 

The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has convicted a former Managing Director of Finbank plc, Okey Nwosu and three other directors of the bank.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Lateefat Okunnu convicted the four for stealing over ₦18 billion from the bank.

In her judgment delivered today, the court sentenced the 1st and 2nd Defendants (Okey Nwosu and Dayo Famoroti) to a three-year jail term and ordered them to repay the 18 billion Naira.

READ ALSO: Alleged Forgery: Obaseki Graduated From UI, Deputy Registrar Tells Court

While the 3rd Defendant (Danjuma Ocholi) was sentenced to 12months in jail and the 4th Defendant (Agnes Ebubedike) was sentenced to six months of community service.

The convicts were first arraigned in 2011 before Justice Okunnu, but the Court of Appeal had on November 21, 2013 quashed the charge brought against them by the EFCC and set them free.

The EFCC however, appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld the appeal and ordered Nwosu and others to return to the high court for their trial.

They were subsequently re-arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 26-count charge of stealing and illegal conversion.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

Court Jails Ex-Finbank MD, Nwosu, Three Others

Justice Lateefa A. Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, convicted and sentenced Okey Nwosu, a former Managing Director, Finbank Plc, to three years imprisonment for over 10m fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Nwosu alongside Dayo Famuroti, Agnes Ebubedike and Danjuma Ocholi on a 26-count amended charge bordering on stealing and illegal conversion to the tune of N10,934,704,402.

The defendants, who perpetrated the fraud while they were directors of the bank, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them, thereby leading to their full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs , SAN, called witnesses and also tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence against the defendants.

Delivering her judgment, the Judge found the defendants guilty and sentenced the first and second defendants, Nwosu and Famoroti, to three years imprisonment each.

The Judge also sentenced the third defendant, Ocholi, to 12 months imprisonment and slammed a six- month community service on the fourth defendant, Ebubedike.

The case had, suffered a setback as the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the trial court up to the Supreme Court. While the court maintained its jurisdiction to try the defendants, Nwosu approached the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which in November 2013 struck out the charge against the banker.

The appellate court ruled that the Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charges because they emanated from capital market transactions, which should be handled by the Federal High Court.

Following the appeal court ruling, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike approached the Lagos High Court to dismiss the charges preferred against them.

But Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to EFCC had asked the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the determination of its appeal at the Supreme Court

Justice Okunnu upheld the prayers of Jacobs and adjourned the matter sine die to allow the Supreme Court rule on the matter.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment, upheld EFCC’s appeal.

In a unanimous judgment, a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court faulted the argument of the Court of Appeal that the decision by the EFCC to charge Nwosu and the other directors for stealing before the Lagos High Court, while it maintained a charge of money laundering against them, would amount to double jeopardy.

The Supreme Court directed Nwosu and co- defendants to submit themselves for trial before the Lagos High Court.

Wilson Uwujaren

Head, Media & Publicity

5 January, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Ekiti Bank Robbery: Police Declare Suspect Wanted

A map of Ekiti, a state in South-West Nigeria.

 

The Ekiti State Police Command has declared one Samuel Omotoyinbo wanted following the recent bank robbery that took place in Iyin Ekiti last week.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abutu Sunday.

According to the statement, the police authorities called on anyone with a clue that could lead to his arrest to notify the nearest police station.

Omotoyinbo with the nicknames Badoo and Eleven (11) was first declared wanted by the state Police Command some three weeks back for similar allegations.

                 EKITI STATE POLICE COMMAND

PRESS RELEASE

WANTED PERSON

 

The Ekiti State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that one Omotoyinbo Samuel has again been declared wanted by the Nigeria Police. He is suspected to have led the gang of armed Robbers who recently attacked the branch of WEMA Bank in Iyin-Ekiti.

  1. Our Investigation so far has revealed how Omotoyinbo Samuel actively participated in the Bank robbery as mastermind and other robberies, kidnapping and murder incidents in Ekiti State and Ondo State.

 

  1. His real name is Omotoyinbo Samuel but popularly called ELEVEN(11) in Ekiti State and BADO in Ondo State. He is an indigene of iyin Ekiti, Ekiti State where the recent bank robbery incident took place.

The Command implores any person with useful information that could lead to his arrest to please contact the nearest Police Station or the SARS Department on 07031620186 or the PPRO on 09064050086.

 

ASP ABUTU SUNDAY

PPRO

FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

EKITI STATE COMMAND

Gunmen Invade Ekiti Bank

Chief Imam’s Son, Two Others Kidnapped In Ogun Community
File photo of a gunman wearing bullets

 

Gunmen on Friday attacked a new generation bank in Iyin Ekiti area of Ekiti State.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Sunday Abutu, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a phone call.

He said no casualty has been confirmed, adding that the police team is working to launch a manhunt for the criminal gang.

Sources said the armed robbers, numbering close to 10, carted away large sums of money after blowing up the security door to gain access.

Residents of the town and travellers in transit reportedly scampered for safety following the sporadic gunshots that accompanied the arrival of the gang.

The operation was said to have lasted for at least 40  minutes without any police interruption,  raising questions about the absence of security operatives despite the presence of a police station in the town and the nearness of other police stations in bordering towns.

Just a few days ago, the State Police Command had asked residents to be cautious, warning of the presence of suspected armed hoodlums planning to cause panic.

The police authorities, however, gave the assurance that the Force is committed to saving lives and properties.