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Lagos Arraigns FCMB Bank Manager For N1.2bn Fraud

The Lagos State government on Wednesday arraigned a Branch Manager of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Tope Munis before the state high court in Ikeja for his alleged involvement in a N1.2 billion fraud.

Munis, who is the branch manager of FCMB Bank in the Ikeja Government Residential Area (GRA) was docked alongside Dare Osamo and Ayoola Bisola on a 15-court amended charge of conspiracy and fraud before Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

The state had earlier docked Osamo and Bisola before the court on the same charge before Munis was arrested and subsequently arraigned on Wednesday.

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The Director of the Lagos State Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) Dr Jide Martins, during the proceedings, informed the court that the state had amended the old charge to include the name of the embattled branch manager.

Martins alleged that he conspired with Osamo to defraud Star Orient Limited, which is owned by a businessman, Otunba Babatunde Akanbi Babalola of N1.2 billion.

The state claimed in the charge that Tope Munis on February 15, 2016, while acting as Branch Manager, First City Monument Bank PLC. located at 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area (G R.A) Branch allegedly committed the offence.

The prosecution further stated that Munis and Osamo allegedly demonstrate an intention to defraud and without lawful authority or excuses approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nigeria Limited when there was no SCUML (i.e Special Control Unit against Money Laundering) number on the account opening form.

The charge also states that the duo of Munis and Osamo, allegedly runs foul of banking rules when they opened the account without full details of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, no means of identification, no BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited and upon a forged resolution purportedly signed by Dare Osamo as sole signatory, when there were two other directors who are signatories to Star Orient Nigeria Limited’s account.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, thereafter, urged the court to fix a trial date and to also remand Munis in prison, pending the determination of his bail application.

But the defence counsel, John Olushade informed the court that he has filed a bail application on behalf of his client.

He urged the Judge to grant the defendant bail on liberal terms because the offence is bailable.

In his opposition to the bail, the state DPP said the court must consider the severity of the offence, praying the court to turn down the bail application of the defendant.

In her ruling, Justice Ogala granted the defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties.

She further ordered that the sureties who must be residents of the state must also produce title to landed property.

The Judge also directed that the sureties must provide evidence of tax payment to the state government and that their residential address must be verified.

She further ordered the defendant to submit his passport to the court’s Chief Register.

The other two defendants have been granted bail by the court when they were first arraigned.

The case has been adjourned to May 26, for the continuation of trial.

15th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph