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EFCC re-opens Akingbola’s fraud case

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Erastus Akingbola

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-opened, before the Federal High Court, Lagos, the trial of former managing director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola, for alleged fraud.

The trial, in the charge marked FHC/L/CS/443c/09, was reopened on Monday before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

In the 26 counts filed before the court, the prosecution alleged that while Akingbola was the chief executive officer of Intercontinental Bank between November 2007 and July 2008, he was involved in reckless approval of credit facilities for a number of firms without adequate security.

The prosecution cited a credit facility of N8 billion each he approved for Soo-Kok Holding Limited, Tofa General Enterprises, Cinca Nigeria Limited, Harmony Trust and Investment Limited, and Stanzus Investment Limited.

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EFCC said the illegal transactions were carried out between May 2008 and May 2009 in contravention of “accepted practice or Intercontinental Bank Plc’s regulations.”

It noted that Akingbola violated Section 15(1)(a)(i) of the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act, Cap F2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and was liable to be punished under Section 16(1)(a) of the same Act.

The ex-bank chief, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

At a resumed hearing yesterday, the second prosecution witness, Abdulraheem Jimoh, told the court how he uncovered, among others, an alleged fraudulent transaction of N10 billion by Akingbola.

Jimoh, an investigator, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said: “The management of the bank gave me a letter dated May 8, 2009 from Tropics Securities Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Dr. Erastus Akingbola, his wife and some other shareholders.

“The letter was addressed to the Group Managing Director, Dr. Erastus Akingbola, and it was signed by Mr. Bayo Dada and one Jackson.

“The letter was claiming payment amounting to N10 billion for shares purported to have been bought by the bank.”

The investigator said based on the letter, Intercontinental Bank issued three cheques amounting to N10 billion in favour of Tropics Securities Nigeria Limited.


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