Atuche Faces Fresh Forgery Charge

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Henry Ojelu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today filed a fresh forgery charge against a former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr Francis Atuche before an Ikeja High Court.

In an information dated 13 March, 2013 and filed before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, the former bank chief will face trial alongside two officials of Central Shared Services Centre of Keystone Bank Ltd., Joachim Nnosiri and Uguru Onyike on a nine-count charge of forgery.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants had on 4 March, 2013 , in Lagos, attempted to smuggle forged board resolutions of some companies into Keystone Bank, the successor of Bank PHB.

The EFCC claimed the forged board resolutions were said to have emanated from Futureview Securities Ltd.,Tradjeck Ltd. and Extra Oil Ltd.

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According to the anti-graft agency, the board resolutions were allegedly signed by the Managing Director of the companies, Mrs Elizabeth Ebi and addressed to Keystone Bank.

The EFCC said the purpose of the board resolutions was to request a N10.9 billion credit facility from the bank .

It will be recalled that Ebi had earlier testified in Atuche’s N25.7 billion fraud trial before Justice Lateefat Okunnu, also of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, that Atuche had granted a N10.9 billion loan facility to the companies without their knowledge or request.

The commission said the defendants alleged offence contravened Sections 361 and 409 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

No date has been fixed for the arraignment of the defendants.