Abuja - Ecobank and two of its staff have been arraigned before the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent diversion of funds, forgery and impersonation to the tune of more than N7 million.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the prosecution of the bank and employees, Ekpe Sunday and Denis Joseph James.
According to the commission, Sunday and James were alleged to have failed to exercise due diligence in opening a spurious account for a fraudster, in the name of a pensioner, Chief Ukim Okon Edem.
One of the charge reads, “That you Ekpe Sunday and Denis Joseph James on or about 3rd February, 2013, at Ecobank 92, Oron Road, Uyo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did facilitate and contribute to failure to exercise due diligence in opening account No. 0273002548 purportedly in the name of Ukim Okon Edem which account was used to fraudulently steal and convert the total sum of N7,067,576.55( Seven Million, Sixty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Naira, Fifty-Five kobo only)being proceeds of the sale of shares of Mr. Ukim Okon Edem and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 7(3) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”
Counsel to the EFCC, Ben Ubi, informed the court that he was ready for trial and prayed that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
Counsel to the first accused, Edet Ekanem, moved an oral application for bail.
He reminded the court that, the offence for which his client is standing trial, was bailable.
Counsel to the second accused person, CO Ezedi and counsel to Ecobank, Ukem Frank, aligned themselves with Ekanem and prayed the court to admit their clients to bail.
Justice Ojukwu granted each of the accused persons bail in the sum of N1 million and a surety each in like sum.
The surety must be resident in the jurisdiction of the court and must offer an evidence of tax payment.
The matter has been adjourned to July 7.
– CAJ News
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