EFCC Arraigns Banker, One Other Over Alleged False Claims

EFCC Arraigns Banker, One Other Over Alleged False Claims

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, arraigned the pioneer Managing Director and ex- Chief Executive Officer of Afribank Registrars Limited, Chester Onyemaechi Ukandu and one other before the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly making false claims.

EFCC docked Ukandu and one Achi George before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on a two-count charge of conspiracy and falsely claiming to be the directors of Mainstream Bank Registrar.

According to the anti-graft agency the two men on February 21, 2017 within the jurisdiction of the court, held themselves out as directors of Mainstream Bank Registrar Limited, vide a letter dated February 14,  addressed to the Manager, Skye Bank Plc, Ilupeju branch, Lagos, captioned ‘Appointment of New Signatories to the account of Mainstream Bank Registrars Limited’, the letter which they personally signed.

The commission also accused the duo to have on the same date addressed a letter captioned ‘Notification about the change in the board and management of the Mainstream Bank Registrars Limited’, to the Director-General of the Security and Exchange Commission, Abuja.

The offences according to the prosecutor, Ayokunle Fayanju, are contrary to sections 244(1) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. Cap. C20, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under section 244(3) of the same Act.

The two accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor, Fayanju urged the court to remand them in prisons custody, pending the conclusion of trial.

The request was however opposed to by the defence lawyer, Samuel Ague, who urged the court to admit his clients to bail in the most liberal terms.

The lawyer informed the court that he had just filed a bail application to that effect, and would wants the court to grant his clients bail because of their status in the country.

He also submitted that the first accused, Chester, is a chairman of a Microfinance Bank, and many other companies.

He also told the court that the second accused, is a well-respected man, adding that the two accused persons will not jump bail if granted.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Aikawa granted the two accused persons bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety each in the same amount.

The judge also ordered that each surety must be a landed property owner in Ikoyi, Lekki, Ikeja and Victoria Island of the court’s jurisdiction and that the original Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) of the said land must be verified and deposited with the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).

The court further directed that the accused persons must report at the EFCC’s office every Monday.

Justice Aikawa then ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prisons custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

The court has fixed December 12 for the commencement of trial.

 

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