Court remands bank MD in prison over alleged N11.5b fraud
EFCC files 24-count charge against four
THE Federal High Court sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday ordered the Managing Director (MD), Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank Ltd in Jos, Mr. Irmiya Maman Jatau, to be remanded in prison custody till further notice.
Besides, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also filed a 24-count charge of corruption against the Bishop of Maranatha Churches, Jonas Katung, in the court presided over by Justice M. H. Kurya.
Both the bank MD and the Bishop, including one Okewole Dayo as well as Dadin Kowa Micro-Finance Bank Limited were the four accused persons standing trial for the roles they played in defrauding over 64,000 customers of the defunct Covenant Fadama Co-operative Society of fund said to be N11.5 billion.
Some of the 24-count charge preferred against the accused by the EFCC which were read before them in court yesterday included, among others:
“That you Okewole Dayo, Bishop Jonas Katung, Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank Ltd and Maman Irmiya Jatau sometime in 2012 under the jurisdiction of this court did conspire with yourselves to commit money laundering contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering and Prohibition act 2011 as amended by the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15, sub-Section 3 of the same act.
When the charges were read, the accused persons pleaded not guilty on all the charges. This was after the Bishop had earlier pleaded guilty in one of the 24 count charges before he suddenly changed his mind. Bishop Katung had also been granted bail in the case on December 9, 2015 before the case was mentioned yesterday.
The Prosecution Counsel of the EFCC led by L. P. Asor said the bail application earlier granted to the accused persons did not include the Managing Director of Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank since no charge was preferred against him as at the time the bail application was granted to the Bishop who is the first accused person.According to the EFCC, the charges against the bank MD were only filed two days ago.
However, while opposing the bail application, counsel to the bank MD, Mr. G. G. Achi, argued that the bail granted to the first accused person should also apply to the bank MD since he is one of the accused persons in the entire case.
After hearing the argument from both the defence counsel and prosecution counsel, the presiding judge ordered that the bank MD be remanded in prison pending when his bail application is filed and considered by the court while the bail earlier granted the Bishop continued. He adjourned the case till March 7, 2016 for further hearing.
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