Story By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, today, ordered the remand of the Asaba branch manager of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Fidelis Egueke, in the custody of Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, till Tuesday, December 1, 2020, when his bail application will be heard and determined.
The court presided over by Justice Austine Chuka Obiozor, made the remand order against the Zenith Bank Manager, after he pleaded not guilty to the thee counts charge of conspiracy and fraud to the tune of N179, 498 million, levelled against him by the men of ForceCID, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Arraigning the defendant today, the prosecutor, Barister Morufu A. Animashaun, told the court that the defendant and others now at large, between May 14, 2010 and December 31, 2019, at No. 2 Balogun Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, conspired among themselves to obtain the said sum from Global Select Investment Services Limited, under false pretence that he will help the company sell some goods and remit money to the company’s bank account.
The prosecutor, Barrister Animashaun, told the court that the defendant, upon selling the goods, diverted the proceeds to his personal account in Zenith Bank Account Number 1020019782, while informing the fraud victim that most of the goods the company imported from USA were inferior and un-demanded for.
The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendant, are contrary to Section 8(a) and 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act. And Section 390 (7) Criminal Code Act Laws of Federation 2004.
The Zenith Bank manager however pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
With his not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for trial date, while he also urged the court to remand the accused in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) pending the determination of the charges against him.
However, counsel to the defendant, Mr. Richard Ahaomarugho, while not oppose to the trial date as requested by the prosecutor, orally urged the court to grant bail to his client, the demand which was turned down by trial judge, on the ground that the court is a court of record.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor, while adjourned till Tuesday, December 1, 2020, for hearing of defendant’s bail application, also ordered that he be remanded in the custody till the hearing and determination of the bail application.