…suit adjourned till February 9th
By Odunewu Segun
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi in Lagos has adjourned a criminal case brought before it by the Federal Government of Nigeria against Nigeria International Bank Ltd (CITIBANK) and 16 others till the 9th of February, 2016.
According to the suit instituted by Chris Uche (SAN) and Gordy Uche (SAN) who were both authorized by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to exercise the powers through a letter dated 5th of January, 2016, CITIBANK and the 16 others were charged with fraudulent malpractices bordering on criminal charges under the Advance Fee-Fraud Act.
The first count read thus “That you Nigeria International Bank Ltd (Formerly CITIBANK), Chief C.S Sankey, Emeka Emuwa, Peter .H. Haris, Adekunle Oladosun, Oluchi Emeka Egwu “F”, Lulu` Ndubuka “F”, Kabiru Bello, Mrs Olusola Fagbure, Samson Ebie and Steve Obodomechine all of No 1 Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, on or about the 31st day of January, 2001 at Lagos State within the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria did conspire to commit an offense, to wit: to induce Micmerah International Agency limited, by means of false pretences an with intent to defraud, to deliver to yourselves the sum of about Two hundred and Fifty million naira (N250,000,000.00) as money intended to be used for offsetting a fraudulent import finance facility scheme contrary to section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act CAP A6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 1(3) of the said Act”
Former CITIBANK with 16 others were also said to have knowingly confirmed the untrue Revenue receipts: Number CRR) 92802.092803.092804, 092805 and 092700 in the sum of fifty million naira to officers of the Nigeria Customs and Excise department contrary to section 161(1) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act and punishable under same section 161(3) of the same act.
One of the charges also accused Nigeria International Bank Limited and some others of making forged documents contrary to section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17, laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the said section and under section 3(1) and (2) of the said Act” the charge sheet stated.
While adjourning the suit which was just coming up for preliminary hearing, Justice Buba said only one of the 17 accused persons was present in Court. He therefore urged the Complainant Counsels to ensure that all accused persons should be properly served the Court summons before the suit comes up for hearing on the 9th of February, 2016.
According to the Petitioner, Chief Michael Emerah, Chairman/Managing Director of Micmerah Int’l Agency ltd, he had earlier petition the Former Attorney General of the Federation, Muhammed Bello Adoke (SAN), whom he said fraudulently withdrawn the criminal charge in suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/122/08 despite all the evidences submitted by the Police.
He said he was denied justice by the past administration, and since President Buhari is seen as an upright leader that abhors corruption, he decided to reopen the petition with all the Police report attached.
One of the Counsels to the Complainant, Gordy Uche (SAN) told journalists at the premises of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi that the accused persons have been avoiding receipt of the court summon. He however said the that they would explore other opportunities, including the Police in ensuring that the accused persons acknowledge receipts of the Court summons for the suit to proceed.