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By Unodiaku • 9 days ago • 45 views • 10 comments

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The Federal High Court in Lagos adjourned till Friday , March 15 , for further hearing in the N125 bn fraud trial of a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc , Francis Atuche .


Atuche is facing 45 counts alongside a former Executive Director of the defunct Spring Bank Plc , Charles Ojo .


Justice Ayokunle Faji , on Thursday , adjourned till Friday for further cross -examination of the first prosecution witness in the 10 – year- old trial .


The prosecution accused them of reckless granting of several billions of loans between 2006 and 2009 to Platinum Capital Limited , a company in which they both have interest.


The loans were alleged to have been granted without adequate security , an act the EFCC said violated Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 .


The prosecution further alleged that Atuche and Ojo conspired to grant several billion naira loans to one Futureview Service Limited “ without adequate security and contrary to accepted banking practice . ”


They were said to have acted contrary to Section 15 ( 1 )( a )( i ) of the Failed Bank (Recovery of Debt ) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap F2 , Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 , and liable to be punished under Section 16 ( 1 ) (a ) of the same Act .


Also allegedly granted loans without adequate security by the defendants were Petosan Oil and Gas Limited , Tradjek Nigeria Limited and Extra Oil Limited .


In one of the counts , Atuche and Ojo were accused of “ failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure the correctness of the June 2009 Bank PHB monthly bank returns to the Central Bank of Nigeria . ”


They were also alleged to have on December 24 , 2008 “ injected the sum of N650 m into Insurance PHB Limited , ” contrary to Section 21 ( 2 )( a ) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act Cap B3 , Laws of the Federation of Nigeria . ”


They have , however , pleaded not guilty to the charges .

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