A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned the arraignment of the MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo and the Director of First Bank Plc, Dauda Lawal till December 17, 2018 for allegedly assisting former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke to conceal $153 million in 2015.
They are facing a 14-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering before Justice Muslim Hassan of Federal High Court.
Mrs Alison-Madueke, the immediate past Petroleum Minister who is nevertheless in another country, is likewise going through multiple cases of money laundering.
Last week, an Abuja court granted the EFCC depart to arraign her and a former chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, Jide Omokore, in February subsequent 12 months.
The arraignment of the bank chiefs, who have been charged alongside Lanre Adesanya and Stanley Lawson, was at first scheduled for Monday however the case was adjourned to allow EFCC serve the charge sheet to all the defendants.Wahab Shittu, suggest to the EFCC, asked the adjournment to serve Messrs Okonkwo and Adesanya.
Hassan Liman, a senior advocate of Nigeria and counsel to Lawal, told the judge that his client had been in EFCC custody since November 29 and prayed that he admitted to bail.
However, in a ruling, Muslim Hassan, said he lacked jurisdiction to grant Liman’s request as the defendants had been but to be arraigned.
He directed that Lawal is taken back to the custody of the EFCC till December 17.
In line with the charge sheet, Messrs Nnmandi Okonkwo and Lawson, Mrs Alison-Madueke, and Ben Otti, a former organization govt director (finance and account) on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation conspired amongst themselves to hide $153.3 million in Fidelity Bank
The defendants are also accused of using $25 million to acquire a property known as Ogeyi Place Hotel situated at GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt, in 2015.
They are further accused of transferring $65 million to Lawal and procured one Adewale Fayemi to take possession of $8.3 million and $80 million without going through a financial institution.
In count 12, Nnamdi Okonkwo was accused of failing to report a suspicious transaction amounting to $80 million to the EFCC while in count 14, Lawal was charged with refraining to report a $65 million suspicious transaction to the commission.