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N15bn fraud: Court grants Briton, ex-Gulf Bank MD, N200m bail each

30 December 2013, 20:04

 Lagos - A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday granted bail in the sum of N200 million each, to a Briton, Gareth Wilcox and Johnson Adebami, charged with N15 billion fraud.

Wilcox, a former Managing Director of Ibom Power Company and LYK Engineering Company, is standing trial alongside Adebami, a former Managing Director of the defunct Gulf Bank Plc, on a 21-count charge bordering on alleged fraud.

Also charged along with them are, former legal adviser of the bank, Uche Uwechia; Ibom Power Company and LYK Engineering Company, owned by Wilcox.

Ruling on the bail application, the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, granted Wilcox and Adebami bail in the sum of N200 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.

The judge ruled that each of the sureties must possess landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, present two years tax clearance certificate and depose to an affidavit of means.

He also ordered Wilcox and Adebami to deposit their international passports with the court, with an undertaking not to travel outside the country, until the suit was determined.

He adjourned the case to February 26, 2014 for trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the accused, who were arraigned on December 23, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were remanded in the custody of the Special Anti-Fraud Unit, pending the determination of their bail.

The accused are alleged to have obtained over N15 billion from the defunct Gulf Bank Plc, without appropriate accounting records, under the guise of granting loans and overdraft facilities to various companies.

They are alleged to have converted and appropriated a total of $55.3 million and over N3.7 billion belonging to the bank.

Part of the money was also alleged to have been used to finance a non-existing refinery, while the others were converted to personal use.

The prosecution said the alleged offences contravened the provisions of Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation, 2006.



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