Akingbola’s trial begins today

By Tony Amokeodo

Monday, 25 Oct 2010


TRIAL in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s alleged N364bn financial crime against the former Chief Executive officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola, is expected to begin today before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The EFCC is prosecuting Akingbola before Justice Mohammed Idris on an alleged 22-count charge of theft, market manipulation, insider trading, abuse of office and economic crime of about N346bn.

The former CEO had, however, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the alleged offence while the court granted him bail on August 30.

But Akingbola’s lawyer , Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN) , had in a statement of defence , faulted the EFCC’s charge on the grounds that the figures being mentioned was never entered as amounts allegedly stolen by Akingbola .

He added that the development was that of the media trial of his client.

The senior advocate also claimed that there was nowhere in the reports of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and the EFCC that Akingbola was accused of taking any money for himself, his firm, and any firm or individual related to him.

He also claimed that the CBN had investigated the bank four times before Akingbola’s removal in August 2009, saying that after his removal, three further forensic investigations were conducted by a joint team of CBN, NDIC, EFCC and forensic experts.

He further claimed that the purpose of the findings was to know whether or not Akingbola benefited from the transactions, saying that no such incrimination was found against his client.

Fagbohungbe also alleged that the investigations revealed that throughout his 20 years in bank, Akingbola never took any loan from bank either directly or in favour of individuals and firms he was related to in spite of the fact that the regulatory provisions in banking industry allowed such with THE CBN approval.

Source: Punch

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