Court freezes convicted former Bank PHD MD, Atuche’s N19 billion in 24 banks - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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Court freezes convicted former Bank PHD MD, Atuche’s N19 billion in 24 banks

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Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has frozen assets and funds to the tune of N19,178,253050 billion al­legedly kept in 24 banks by a convicted former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche.

The banks included Ac­cess Bank Plc, Citi Bank Ltd, Ecobank Nigeria Ltd, Fidelity Bank Nigeria Plc, First Bank Of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank and Globus Bank Ltd.

They also included Guar­anty Trust Bank Plc, Her­itage Bank Ltd, Keystone Bank Ltd, Lotus Bank Ltd, Mainstreet Bank Plc, Polar­is Bank Plc, Platinum Mort­gage Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Stanbic IBTC Nigeria Ltd.

The rest were Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, Titan Trust Bank Ltd, Union Bank Of Nigeria Plc, United Bank For Africa Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

Justice Okunnu ordered that the assets be frozen sequel to an August 17 ap­plication by the Economic and Financial Crimes Com­mission (EFCC)’s counsel Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) in charge suit No. ID/1549/2011 between the Federal Govern­ment on the one hand and Atuche and Ugo Anyanwu as first and defendants.

Anyanwu, a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, is serving time in jail following his conviction and sentencing to six years imprisonment last June 16 for N25.7billion fraud alongside Atuche.

Justice Okunnu, while sentencing the duo last June, ordered that they should make restitution of the N25. 7billion to the Federal Gov­ernment to replace the funds stolen from the public to bail out the bank.

The judge ruling on the motion, granted the agen­cy’s 12 prayers pursuant to sections 6(d), 20, 24, 26(1), 30 and 34(1) of the EFCC Act and sections 290, 294 and 297 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015, filed by prosecution counsel led by Pinheiro.

In another order, she re­strained the banks from hon­ouring any such instruction from Atuche and his privies.

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