The former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank PLC, Erastus Akingbola, is again in the dragnet of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), according to reports reaching flawlessview.com, Erastus Akingbola was on Wednesday dragged to a Lagos Federal High Court again by EFCC over alleged Money Laundering offenses.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commision is charging the former Intercontinental Bank big boy with an amended 22 count charge bordering on the alleged money laundering charge. The charge is contained on the charge written Further Amended Charge, and marked FHC/L/443C/2009. Erastus however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On Wednesday, the prosecutor Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) took time to inform the court of the amended charge filed by the prosecution after the case was called, Rotimi Jacobs urged the court to accept the charge and begged the court to allow the plea of the defendant to be taken afresh.
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According to the charge sheet, Erastus was alleged to have between November 2007 and July 2008, used his office as the MD of Intercontinental Bank, caused to be created a misleading appearance of active trading in the shares of the bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
He was alleged to have been connected with the utilisation of an aggregate sum of N179.4 billion of the bank’s fund, for the purchase of the bank’s shares, thereby inflating the rate of the bank’s shares on the NSE.
In the charge, the defendant was also accused withdrawing the sum of 9.8 Million dollars in two installments of 1.3 Million dollars and 8.5 Million dollars from Intercontinental Bank’s GBP NOSTRO account at Deutsche Bank in London, and converting same to personal use. According to the charge, the sum was said to have been remitted into the account of Fuglers Solicitors with the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, to purchase property in the name of Life Boat Settlement Trust, set up by the defendant.
According to the prosecution, the defendant knew that the sums represented proceeds of crime which included stealing, an offence that contravene the provisions of sections 105(1) and 105(a), of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007. It also contravenes the provisions of sections 13 (1), 15(1) (a), and 28(3) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, Laws of the Federation 2004 and the provisions of sections 14(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges, on his re-arraignment, and after his plea was taken, the trial continued, an Investigator connected to the case, and who had earlier given evidence before the court, was cross examined by defence counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the witness was asked if he recalls that he had earlier testified in a written statement at the EFCC office according to his statement before an Ikeja High Court, to this, the witness replied
“I can’t recall.”
The Court has adjourned until March 14 for continuation of trial.