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Court Sentences Former Bank PHB Boss, Francis Atuche To Over 6 Years In Prison

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A Lagos High Court sitting in the Ikeja area has sentenced former managing director of defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche to over 6 years in prison.

In a judgment that lasted over 10 hours, Justice Lateefat Okunnu convicted Atuche alongside a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu.

The two were convicted on at least 6 of a 27-count amended charge of conspiracy to commit a felony and stealing brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

While Atuche who was found guilty on counts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 23 of the charge would serve a 6-year term for each count,  Anyanwu will serve a 4-year jail term for counts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 22 and 24 of the amended charge.

They are to serve their jail term consecutively. This sentence is coming after a trial that lasted over 12 years.

In delivering her sentence, Justice Okunnu held that the EFCC successfully proved its case against the convicts beyond a reasonable doubt.

The judge rejected claims by the defendants suggesting that they were merely professionally negligent.

She specifically held that Atuche and Anyanwu abused their powers, ignored established rules and regulations thereby putting the bank and depositors’ funds in danger.

The court also came to the conclusion that the convicts corruptly took advantage of their positions to confer on themselves undue financial benefits without regard to the health of the bank.

“The convict stole from the bank and depositors and because of their action, taxpayers money was used to bail out the bank”.

Justice Okunnu held that she had considered the plea of the convicts, but there must be consequences for wrongdoing, adding that sentences are not just for punishment but also for deterrence.

She also ruled that the defendant should make restitution of the amount stolen from the bank. They are to pay back the sum of N25.7billion to the Federal government to replace the funds stolen from the public to bail out the bank.

According to the Judge, they are to serve their jail terms at the Kirikiri maximum correctional facility in Lagos.

Atuche’s wife cleared
Justice Okunnu however, cleared Atuche’s wife on the charge of conspiracy and stealing.

According to the judge, the EFCC failed to link her to the crime and insisted that suspicion no matter how strong can not take the place of fact.

The judge held that it was not proven that she was aware of the source of the funds she received into her account from her husband and she had no powers to take any decision to influence the transaction.

Charges
The EFCC had alleged that between November 2007 and April 2008, the accused persons stole about N25.7bn belonging to the bank.

The anti-graft agency had also claimed that of the total N25.7bn, they stole about N14.7bn by fraudulently describing it as a loan to some companies and subsequently converted the said sum to personal use.

The Commission had listed the companies as Future View Securities, Extra Oil Limited, Resolution Trust and Investment Limited, and Tradjek Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC also alleged that another N11bn stolen by the defendants was used to purchase about 984,375,000 units of Bank PHB shares for themselves.

According to the commission, the sum used for purchasing the shares was described as a loan to some companies including, Guesstrade Services, Sentron Trading, Montrax Investico, Claremount Management Ltd., Trenton Trade, and others.

In proof of its case against the accused persons, the EFCC called 12 witnesses who gave oral evidence. It also subpoenaed 6 others to present some documents which were admitted as exhibits by the court.

 

 

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Crime

Police Vow To Apprehend Ekiti Robbery Perpetrators

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Nigeria Police Force
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The Ekiti State Police Command has vowed to arrest the perpetrators of a bank robbery in the Ikere-Ekiti area of the State.

Robbers had attacked two new-generation banks in Ikere-Ekiti on Wednesday evening, carting away an undisclosed amount of money with three persons feared killed.

In a statement after the incidents, the police spokesman in the state, Abutu Sunday, said the Commissioner of Police, CP Ogundare Dare, visited the scene of the robbery incidents at Ikere-Ekiti for an on-the-spot assessment.

“The Commissioner, who expressed his displeasure over the ugly incident, directed the Ikere Area Commander and all the Tactical Teams within the Command to ensure the perpetrators are trailed, arrested, and brought to book,” the statement partly read.

The police spokesperson said tactical squads and soldiers deployed to the scene engaged the hoodlums who abandoned the three vehicles and two motorcycles before they fled to the bush.

The police enjoined anyone with useful information concerning the identities and whereabouts of hoodlums to contact the police.

The commissioner commiserated with the family members of those who were fatally affected and wished those currently receiving treatment in the hospital a quick recovery.

CP Dare called for calm and implored everyone to go about their lawful businesses as the Command will not rest until the hoodlums are made to face the full wrath of the law.

 

 

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Africa News

Memo Ordering Withdrawal Of Police From VIPs, Fake – Police Sources

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Stories making the rounds in Some online  media outlets about a purported memo with the order for the withdrawal of Mobile Police personnel from the very important personality (VIPs) has been described to be fake by  a retired police Commissioner who was very conversant with the workings of the Police Mobile Force.

Reacting to the purported Memo  retired Police Mobile Squadron Commander, CP Mike Ademola  who is conversant with signals and memos of the PMF having led the Mobile police before retirement,  said it didn’t come from the police authority as and therefore, it is fake.

CP Ademola rtd explained that the wordings of the memo shows that it is fake as police signal does not appear without proper identification and directions but from the memo, you would notice that some persons were not properly identified and this is a sign of fake news.

He also commended the acting IGP, Olukayode Egbetokun for having the courage to initiate policies that would reform the Nigeria Mobile Police in order for the PMF to regain the lost glory.

He said, with the initiative like this, the IGP has set the police ready for a better future.

Also, the Force PRO, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi when contacted to react to the memo, said the Force management team is currently having their meetings now where critical decisions will be taken.

Meanwhile, our checks showed that no mobile squadron commander has withdrawn their personnel from the people mentioned in the memo as at Monday.

Part of the memo had named important personalities like former secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, former Zamfara State governor, Matawalle among others as people whose police were withdrawn.

Recall that when the acting inspector-general of police, IGP Olukayode Egbetokun resumed duty as the police boss, he had stated that he would effect the withdrawal of Police Mobile Force personnel from VIP escort/guard duties.

This was even as he established the Special Intervention Squad which according to him would have 40,000 highly trained police officers including selected officers from the Police Mobile Force.

He had explained that this action was to allow the mobile police take back its place in the internal security architecture of the country and reclaim its lost glory.

According to him, “In a bid to kick-start the process of regaining our pride of place in the internal security architecture of our dear country first and foremost, modalities for the creation of a new special squad – the Special Intervention Squad have been initiated.

“This special squad shall consist of 40,000 specially trained elite officers. The Squad will be formed by selecting officers from the pool of existing Police Mobile Force personnel and all tactical units in the country.

“These officers will undergo an intensive pre-deployment training to make them combat-ready for frontline operational duties in all the states of the Federation, with a particular focus on areas plagued with unrest and turmoil.

“By pooling together the expertise and experience of our PMF personnel and other tactical units, we can establish a formidable force that is well-equipped to handle the evolving challenges we face.”

The IGP also said the establishment of the squad would help the police to promptly respond to security threats, noting that 1000 personnel would be deployed to every state.

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Crime

I sleep with mad women every Friday, Yahoo Boy confesses

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Silas Ade, a 30-year-old man who was apprehended by detectives of the Lagos State Police Command, has confessed to engaging in sexual activities with mentally ill women every Friday of the week.

It was gathered that he was caught attempting to force himself on a pregnant mentally ill woman named Christiana inside an uncompleted building in Isheri Olofin along the Igando-LASU highway.

When caught, he confessed to the police that he engaged in sexual activities with mentally ill women every Friday as part of a money ritual to maintain his wealth.

Silas, who is also suspected to be involved in internet fraud, was paraded around the community before being taken into police custody for further interrogation.

In his own words, “I sleep with mad women every Friday to maintain my wealth

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