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N10.9 billion fraud: Ex-Finbank MD, Nwosu, 3 others jailed

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The former Managing Director of Finbank, Okey Nwosu was on Tuesday sentenced to three years imprisonment for over N10 billion fraud.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, convicted the ex-MD and three others in a case brought before the Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Those sentenced along with him are
Dayo Famuroti, Agnes Ebubedike and Danjuma Ocholi on a 26-count amended charge bordering on stealing and illegal conversion to the tune of N10,934,704,402.

The former Directors have earlier pleaded not guilty to criminal charges brought before the court by the anti-graft agency.

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The case resumed a full trial with the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN having called witnesses with supportive documents which were admitted in evidence by the Court.

Delivering her judgment, the Judge found the defendants guilty and sentenced the first and second defendants, Nwosu and Famoroti, to three years imprisonment each.

Two of the accused, Ocholi and Ebubedile were sentenced to 12 months, and a six month community service respectively.

It is recalled that the case had earlier suffered a setback which the defendants cited Court’s lack of jurisdiction to try the case and had it struck out in 2013 at the division of the Court of Appeal.

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The appellate court ruled that the Lagos High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charges because they emanated from capital market transactions, which should be handled by the Federal High Court.

Following the appeal court ruling, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike approached the Lagos High Court to dismiss the charges preferred against them.

But Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to EFCC had prayed the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the determination of its appeal at the Supreme Court.

Justice Okunnu upheld the prayers of Jacobs and adjourned the matter sine die to allow the Supreme Court rule on the matter.

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The Supreme Court, in its judgment, upheld EFCC’s appeal.

In a unanimous judgment, a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court faulted the argument of the Court of Appeal that the decision by the EFCC to charge Nwosu and the other directors for stealing before the Lagos High Court, while it maintained a charge of money laundering against them, would amount to double jeopardy.

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