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Court fixes November 9 on consolidated discount house staff accused of N43.9bn fraud


A Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed the trial of former staff of Consolidated Discount House Limited, who were alleged to have defrauded the company of the sum of N43. 9 billion, to November 9 and 11, 2016.

The alleged suspects are being prosecuted on three separates charges filed against them.

Justice Mohammed Idris fixed the trial date after all the accused persons through their counsel, informed the court that they had been furnished with the proof of evidence by the prosecution.

Those involved in the first charge marked FHC/L/20c/2016, are: Stephen Akinretoye, Peter Ololo and Falcon Securities Limited.

The second charge marked FHC/L/21c/2016, has Akinretoye, Mudashiru Shittu, Olawale Omisore, Captain Eddy Ndoms, Aquatic Transport Limited, Cross Oceans Limited and Ehco Ventures Limited as defendants.

And the third charge marked FHC/L/22c/2016, has Akinretoye, Shittu, Larai Claude-Eninn, Hassan Gbenga, Ajibola Jolaosho, Omisore Olawale, Omisope Johnson, Onimole Adebowale and Emmanuel Odedina as the accused persons.

In the first charge, the complainant, the Federal Government, alleged that between January 1 and December 31, 2007, the accused conspired to defraud Consolidated Discount Limited by granting loans to Falcon Securities Limited, a company owned by Ololo, without proper documentation.

The prosecution said they allegedly converted N43.9 billion, funds belonging to Consolidated Discount, in contravention of Section 15 (2) and 15 (3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2012.

In the second charge, Akinretoye and others were alleged to have defrauded the company in the guise of granting loans to the fourth to seventh defendants and converted N520 million, N303 million and N600 million.

The prosecution said investigations showed that Consolidated Discount paid for vessels before the dates of the applications for loan made by the fourth to seventh accused.

In the third charge, the prosecution said the defendants, as employees of Consolidated Discount, committed fraud by converting its N915.7 million.

Shittu (as managing director) and Gbenga (as financial controller), between March 2012 and June 2013, allegedly transferred N1.6 billion from Consolidated Discount’s Union Bank Plc account number: 0033295449, to companies belonging to them.

But before the fixing of the trial date, Justice Idris had struck out an application filed by Mr. A. Adio, counsel to the first accused person, Stephen Olawale Akinretoye, seeking the release of his international passport.

In the application, the accused person had informed the court of an urgent need for him to travel to the United States of America (USA), for a medical appointment.

But the prosecutor, Mr. D. C. Enwelum, while urging the court to refuse the application, stated that the purported author of the medical invitation letter refused to state his or her position at the medical facility, and that the letter-head paper used by the author was not from the George Washington Medical Faculty Associate.

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