Alleged N179B Fraud: EFCC Witness In Akingbola’s Trial Contradicts Self

* Pix source : Independent Newspapers Nigeria



Story By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi


A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of Dr. Erastus Akingbola, the Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr Abdulraheem Jimoh, today, contradicted himself before a Federal High Court, Lagos, by saying that he only attended an aborted Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course at the University of Ilorin.

The statement which was in contradiction to his earlier evidence before an Ikeja High Court of Lagos State, that he hold an MBA degree from the same university.

Jimoh recanted when being cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN) counsel to Akingbola at today’s proceedings .

who is facing trial for the alleged mismanagement of N179 billion while being the CEO of the bank.

When reminded that he had earlier made a claim under oath before Justice A.O Abiru of the Lagos Court that he obtained an MBA degree in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin in the year 2002, contrary to his claim yesterday that he only hold a B. A degree in Business Administration, Jimoh reversed himself by saying he did not obtain a Master degree in Business Administration, adding that he only attended courses in MBA programme which was however, aborted.

Following his answer to the questions, Olanipekun showed him his earlier statements before Justice Abiru where he claim to have obtained an MBA degree from University of Ilorin to which he could not contradict.

The witness also admitted that his service was briefly dispensed with while in the employment of Intercontinental bank, but that he was later reinstated after a period of four months following his apology letter to the bank management.

When he was taking up on the N5.2billion placement with Intercontinental Securities Limited which he had claimed was a fraud purportedly perpetrated by Akingbola, Jimoh said he did not inquire whether Intercontinental Bank benefitted from it or whether it was a loan and whether it was re-paid by Intercontinental Securities.

On the bank’s Nostro Account from which the alleged sum of £1.300,000 was taken from and remitted to Fuglers Solicitors with Royal Bank of Scotland Plc London, the witness said he did not know if the money belongs to the bank or customers of the bank.

Asked if he was aware that the Nostro Account has its own Ledger account, Jimoh said “I don’t know” Asked if he make any enquiries from Akingbola about the transactions he said no

The witness in his answer to most of the questions put forward to him today by Akingbola counsel, said “I don’t know”.

However, the anti-graft agency, today, re-arraigned Akingbola before the court in an amended 22 count charge bordering on the offence.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the charge, the defendant was also accused of converting an aggregate sum of $1.3 million and $8.5 million, which sum was taken from the bank’s GBP NOSTRO account at Deutsche Bank in London.

The sum was said to have been remitted into the account of Fuglers Solicitors with the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, to purchase property in the name of Life Boat Settlement Trust, set up by the defendant.

According to the prosecution, the defendant knew that the sums represented proceeds of crime which includes stealing.

The offences contravene the provisions of sections 105(1) and 105(a), of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007.

It also contravenes the provisions of sections 13 (1), 15(1)(a), and 28(3) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, Laws of the Federation 2004.

The offence also contravene the provisions of sections 14(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004.

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