EFCC arraigns ECObank, staff for $50,000, N9.2m fraud
The Lagos Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Ecobank Plc before Justice Saliu Seidu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on a five-count charge bordering on conversion of funds to the tune of $50,000 and N9.2million.
The bank and one of its employees, Anieka Udoh were arraigned on Tuesday.
They were accused of negligently failing to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with Major General Umaru Mohammed and fraudulently converted General Mohammed’s Ecobank MasterCard from debit card to credit card and consequently debited the General’s account in the sum of over USD 50,000 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) without the knowledge and authority the army official.
Another count also reads, “That you, Ecobank Plc and one Anieka Udoh, whilst being an employee of EcoBank Plc sometime in 2009, at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable court, negligently failed to exercise due diligence in relation to conduct of financial transactions with Major General Umaru Mohammed and fraudulently converted Major General Umaru Mohammed’s Ecobank Domiciliary account to Naira account Number 0015052989 without the knowledge and authority of Major General Umaru Mohammed and consequently left a debit of N9.2Million in the said Naira account.”
At the earlier scheduled arraignment on March 7, 2019, Ecobank had no legal representative.
However, at Tuesday’s sitting, Ecobank Plc represented by E. Majemite, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against it.
Counsel to Udoh, O.J. Owoh, informed the court about a pending application for bail on behalf of his client, who pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was arraigned.
In her response, counsel to the prosecution, Bilkisu Buhari, objected to the bail application, stating that “the defendant is a flight-risk if granted bail.”
Justice Seidu, after listening to both parties, admitted Udoh to bail in the sum of N20million and two sureties in like sum.
Stating that one of the sureties must be a relation to the second defendant (Udoh), resident in Lagos and have a landed property in Lagos, whose title documents must be verified by the court.
The second surety must be a civil servant on grade level 16 in Lagos.
The Judge also directed that the credentials of the second surety must be verified by the court. Justice Seidu ordered the second defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions and adjourned to April 9 and 11, 2019 for commencement of trial.