Magu probe: FCMB faces N5bn lawsuit over N570m scandal

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First City Monument Bank is facing a N5 billion lawsuit instituted by Prophet Emmanuel Omale, spiritual guide of the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, over a N570m allegedly paid into his church account.

In the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2020, Omale, who is the General Overseer, Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, said FCMB falsely reported to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit that N570m was paid into his church account.

He said the allegations led to accusations that the money was used in purchasing a house in Dubai for Magu.

The statement of claim read in part, “That one of the key allegations levelled at the Presidential Investigation Committee against Mr. Ibrahim Magu, was that the 2nd Claimant (Prophet Omale) fraudulently and corruptly purchased a real estate property for Mr. Ibrahim Magu in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates with the said sum of N573, 228, 04 allegedly credited as an inflow into the 1st Claimant’s (church’s) Corporate Current Account No: 1486743019 in the year 2016.”

The claimant stated that due to the investigation and negative media reports, his family was exposed to public ridicule and their spiritual calling was insulted.

The cleric noted that he and his wife Deborah Omale appeared before a Presidential Investigation Committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on August 10, 11, and 12, 2020.

He said they were grilled for hours on their alleged roles in respect of the sum of N573m used in fraudulently and corruptly purchasing a real estate property for Magu in Dubai.

He added that they were accompanied by their lead Senior Counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), and a team of four senior lawyers who were paid 15 Million naira to appear and represent them for three days.

Omale said the presidential panel in the course of its hearing also invited the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FCMB, Adam Nuru, who appeared before the committee and testified.

“That Mr. Adam Nuru in his testimony informed the Presidential Investigation Committee that the said N573M was credited to the bank account of the 1st claimant (church) in error and that the error was not discovered by the defendant for over four years,” the cleric said.

Omale said they paid the law firm of Gordy Uche (SAN) & Co., the sum of N75m to institute the suit against FCMB and attached a copy of the receipt for the said professional fees to the statement of claim.

He said in all, he had lost N180.5m due to payment of legal fees and personal losses.

Omale, therefore, sought a declaration of the court that the FCMB negligently breached the fiduciary duty of care it owed the claimants by its false automated report to the NFIU of a suspicious credit inflow of N573m into the church account.