Bishop, Bank MD Remanded In Prison Over Alleged N11.5Billion Fraud

Bishop, Bank MD Remanded In Prison Over Alleged N11.5Billion Fraud

By Chidinma Unigwe | Sub Editor on February 4, 2016
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The Managing Director of Dadin Kowa Microfinance Bank Limited, Mr. Irmiya Jatau, and the Bishop of Maranatha Church, Jonas Katung, were on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 arraigned before Justice Musa Kurya of a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State over an alleged N11.5 billion fraud .

Two other accomplices identified as Okewole Dayo and Dadin Kowa Microfinance Bank Limited were also charged alongside the duo.

The defendants were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 24-counts charge for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting depositors who numbered in their thousands.

According to reports, the EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired to defraud over 64,000 customers of the defunct Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society to the tune of N11.5 billion.

In one of the counts filed against the accused, the EFCC alleged that sometime in 2012, they “did conspire with yourselves to commit money laundering contrary to Section 18 (a )of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, as amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

The defendants were said to have allegedly transferred N50 million from Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society account to a First Bank account, with number 2003050001625, into the Dadin Kowa Microfinance, First Bank account Number-2016452671.

The offence breached the dictates of Section 15 (25) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended by the Money Laundering amendment (Prohibition) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 54 of the same Act, among others.

However, all the defendants except the Bishop pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to them, although he later reversed the plea and claimed innocent.

Earlier, the court had on Wednesday, December 9, 2016 granted the Bishop bail while the case was adjourned until Wednesday, February 3, 2016.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. L. P. Asor, said Jatau was not covered by the bail application earlier granted to the accused persons because no charge was preferred against him as of the time the bail application was granted to the bishop who is the first accused person in the charge.

The commission observed that the charges against the bank MD were only filed two days before.

However, while opposing the bail application, the prosecuting counsel argued that the bail granted to the first accused person should also apply to the bank MD since he is one of the co-accused persons in the entire case.

Justice Kurya adjourned the case for further mention until Monday, March 7, 2016 after hearing the argument from the defence and prosecution counsel.

He further ordered that the bank MD be remanded in prison pending when his bail application would be filed and considered by the court.

 

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