12th September, 2012
The embattled former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Pls, (now Access Bank) Wednesday entered the witness box at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja to defend the N47.1 billion fraud charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Led in evidence by his lawyer, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), Akingbola told the court that most of the allegations against him were spurious, false and malicious as he had never at anytime stolen the bank’s funds.
He told the court that though he was the chairman of Tropics Securities Limited, the company he allegedly used to defraud the bank, he never at any time influenced the transactions between the company and Intercontinental Bank where he was also Managing Director.
Akingbola explained that at some point while he was the MD of Intercontinental Bank, he requested for credit facilities from Tropics Securities but that he never knew that the company applied and got another credit facility from his bank to finance his request.
He, however, maintained that he had already repaid the loan which he obtained from the company.
Akingbola also denied knowing about the payments made to his two other companies, Tropics Finance and Tropics Properties, by Intercontinental Bank, saying Olayinde Adebiyi, one of the bank’s directors who has been declare wanted by EFCC, was responsible for such payments.
Earlier before Akingbola gave his evidence, his co-defendant Bayo Dada told the court that the transactions of Intercontinental Bank shares purchasing by Tropics Finance and Tropics Securities Limited were carried out on behalf of the bank and had the approval of the bank’s management.
He also stated that Tropics Securities obtained separate credit facilities of N12 billion from Access Bank Plc, N2 billion from Intercontinental Capital Market Limited; N320 million from
Intercontinental Homes and Savings Limited and between N100 million to N150 million from Associated Discount House, to fund the deal.
The transactions, which form part of the charge instituted against the accused, were said to involve the purchase of the bank’s shares for the customers of the bank.
Justice Abiru has adjourned the trial till 26 September, 2012.
By Henry Ojelu