31st October, 2012
Head of Compliance and Enforcement Department with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Anafi Buba Mohammed today told an Ikeja High Court how the management of former FinBank Plc manipulated the bank’s shares through several companies created by the bank.
Mohammed, a prosecution witness at the on-going trial of the former Managing Director of FinBank Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosu and three others before Justice Lateefa Okunnu, said the companies created by the banks to perpetrate the transactions were known as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
Nwosu is standing trial alongside three other directors of the bank, Dayo Famoroti Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike for allegedly stealing N10.9 billion from the bank between September 2006 and November 2007.
The witness who was led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs(SAN), told the court that though the bank created many SPVs but only seven were mentioned during the course of their investigation.
Mohammed said the bank’s money were used to secure the shares through two stockbroking firms – Springboard Trust and Investment Limited and Integrated Finance Limited before they were transferred to the SPVs, whose main purpose was to manipulate the bank shares.
According to the witness, procedure through which the bank shares were bought ran foul of the regulations of the supervising authorities even though it was a practice used by many banks to boost their image in the market.
Specifically, the witness told the court that their investigation revealed that 34 million of such shares of the bank were crossed from Integrated Finance Limited to Dayo Famoroti, a director of the bank.
He however said their investigation was non conclusive as they were stopped mid way by the authority.
Another witness, a bank examiner with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), Mr. Asunmo Shittu Bello in his testimony also told the court that his team in the course of investigations discovered many atrocities which was not permitted by law.
He said the bank made some inaccurate reports of its activities to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which include non disclosure of the N47.7 billion borrowed from CBN for the bank’s operation like payment of salaries and miscellaneous expenses.
Bello under cross examination said he has recommended in his report that the bank be sanctioned for these in fractions, he however did not discover any theft at the course of his investigation.
The trial continues tomorrow.
By Henry Ojelu