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Witness denies knowledge of false statement in Zumax, FCMB case

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FCMB Group Plc

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A defence witness in the case filed against First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Sule Elakamah, has told a Lagos High Court, Igbosere that he was not aware the bank made false statement on the account of one of its customers, Zumax Nigeria Limited.

Zumax Nigeria had sued Finbank formerly First Inland Bank, now FCMB to court for allegedly fraudulently converting for use, the money belonging to it (Zumax) under receivership, in excess of the sum of N465.6 million.

The witness, Elakamah, who is of the legal department of FCMB told the court during cross-examination  that he was not aware of the money being misappropriated.

Under cross-examination by the plaintiff’s counsel, Tani Molajo (SAN), the witness said he was aware that the assets and liabilities of First Inland Bank were transferred to FCMB, but denied that the bank was involved in any irregularities.

Elakamah told the court that the figure in the statement he made was paid out in error.      “The bank asked the receivers to refund the money after reconciliation by the bank’s auditors because they didn’t own the money,” he said.

Elakamah, who testified before Justice Morenike  Obadina told the court that the sum of N399.5million was recovered from the claimant’s account between February and September 2003, while there was no inflow of cash after September 2003, adding that the payment had already been made before another payment came in and it was omitted in error. “I am not aware of any false statement made by the bank about the customer’s account,” he said.

The witness, Elakamah, who is of the legal department of FCMB told the court during cross-examination  that he was not aware of the money being misappropriated.

When Molajo asked the witness if he was aware that FCMB reported the matter to the Director of Banking, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), he said he believed the bank did so, adding that the claimant also reported the issue to the apex bank.

He explained that the bank asked the receivers to refund the money after reconciliation by the bank’s auditors because they didn’t own the money.

However, Justice Obadina adjourned the matter to June 9 and 25, for continuation of trial.


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