The Lagos High Court presided by Justice Lateefa A. Okunnu, has convicted the former Managing Director of Finbank Plc, Okey Nwosu, and three other former directors, over stealing and illegal conversion of the sum of N10.9 billion.
The disclosure is contained in a press release signed by the Head, Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, as seen by Nairametrics.
Following a petition by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi in 2009, the EFCC arraigned Nwosu and three other directors, namely Dayo Famuroti, Agnes Ebubedike and Danjuma Ocholi on a 26-count amended charge bordering on stealing and misappropriation of funds.
The acts were perpetrated by the defendants when they were still directors of the defunct Finbank (now FCMB). The defendants denied the acts ab initio, leading to a full trial and subsequent conviction.
What you should know
- Nairametrics learnt that the case had initially suffered a setback as the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the trial court up to the Supreme Court.
- While the court maintained its jurisdiction to try the defendants, Nwosu approached the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal which in November 2013 struck out the charge against the banker.
- The EFCC sought further legal redress by approaching the Supreme Court which overturned the earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal, asking Nwosu and others to submit themselves for trial.
- 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.
Delivering her judgment, the Judge found the defendants guilty and sentenced the first and second defendants, Nwosu and Famoroti, to three years imprisonment each.
The Judge also sentenced the third defendant, Ocholi, to 12 months imprisonment and slammed a six- month community service on the fourth defendant, Ebubedike.