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Again! FCMB Lands IN Serious Trouble Over False Claim…… As Court Orders Bank To Pay N540m Damages.

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First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is in hot soup as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has ordered the bank to pay N540.5 million in damages to Pastor Emmanuel Omale of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry and his wife, Deborah over false claim that they laundered N573 million for former chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

Delivering judgement in the suit, Yusuf Halilu, the judge, held that the bank breached its “duty of care to the claimants,” the Omales and their church.

The judgment was on the suit marked: FCT/HC/CV2541/2020 filed by Mr. Omale, his wife and the church.

The judge held that the evidence before the court showed that the bank admitted error in its report to the NFIU of entries in the account of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry which was accused of laundering money on Mr. Magu’s behalf.

Mr. Halilu also said the bank claimed that the purported N573 million was wrongly reflected as credit entry in Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry’s account by its reporting system, which it recently upgraded.

The judge held that FCMB admitted the error, which brought incalculable damage to the reputation of the claimants both within and outside the Nigeria – depleting their church’s membership.

Mr. Halilu said the claimants provided sufficient evidence to establish case of negligence against FCMB.

Consequently, the judge awarded N200 million as aggravated damages; N140.5 million as specific damages and N200 million as general damages.

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Clarification On Bench Warrant Issued Against Aig Mbu Joseph Mbu (rtd.) Charge No. Hc/40c/2021

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Clarification On Bench Warrant Issued Against Aig Mbu Joseph Mbu (rtd.) Charge No. Hc/40c/202
The facts behind the bench warrant issued against AIG Mbu have been clarified by his legal representative. Below are facts bordering on the controversial ‘bench warrant’
1. The alleged charge was not served on AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu.
2. That the prosecuting Counsel claimed to have served him through order of substituted service.
3. That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu through his Lawyers filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the Court on two grounds –
4. That the Court lacks the territorial jurisdiction as the alleged offence occurred outside the territorial jurisdiction of High Court 6 Calabar.
5. The charge was not served on him and the said charge was inchoate.
6. That the trial court in its Ruling set aside the order of substituted service thereafter varied the order and directed that the charge be served on him through his Lawyer A. A. ANNAH Esq.
7. That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was dissatisfied with the court decision and immediately appealed to the Court of Appeal Calabar.
8. That his lawyers later filed a motion for stay of execution on such service on him pending the decision of the Court.
9. That the trial court ruled against him when the Prosecuting Counsel as well as the imaginary Complainant were absent from the court while the
10. Counsel for AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was in Court; The Court went ahead to order for a Bench warrant against him suo motu without any application from the prosecution counsel.
12. That through his counsel on the same date filed a motion and to be precise on 2nd November, 2022 seeking the order of the same court be set aside its orders issuing Bench Warrant against him without first hearing him.
13. That he directed his Lawyers to apply for the Ruling and same was applied but the Ruling is yet to be issued to Lawyers to enable his Lawyers take further steps at the Court of Appeal.
14. That the said Appeal before the Court of Appeal has been entered with Appeal No. CA/C/3389/2022.
15. That the motion seeking the High Court of Cross River State to set aside the bench warrant has already been served on the Attorney General of Cross River State and the prosecuting Counsel accepted service on behalf of the state by named C. ADAMA Esq.
16 That the day the Bench Warrant was issued against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu his interlocutary motion was already before the court to stay its orders of substituted service on him.
17. That by virtue of Section 263 (b) of Cross River State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2016. A defendant shall be subject to the provisions of section 134 of this Law be present in court during the whole trial of his interlocutary application.
18. That Section 94 of Cross River State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2016 permit a defendant raise Territorial Jurisdiction when attempt are made to try him outside the Territorial Jurisdiction where the said offence occurred as to this instant case.
19. That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu is ever ready to comply with all the orders of the Court but wanted the Court to allow him exercise all the legal arsenals available to him to protect his right to fair hearing.
20. That he is only demanding that the alleged charge be served on him together with his cautionary statement as required by Law to enable him prepare for defence.
21. That he has already demanded same through his Lawyer but none have been served on him and that is why he has appealed against the decision of the Trial Court which is pending before Court of Appeal Calabar.
That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was never arraigned before the High Court of Cross River State; there is a different between arraignment and filing a charge before a court.
22. The issue before the Court of Appeal is also for the Court of Appeal to interpret the powers of Attorney General to investigate and prosecute.
23. That since the charge was filed against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu the purported complainant has never appeared before the court up till the date the Court issued Bench Warrant against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu.
24. That even the date the Bench Warrant was issued both the acclaimed Complainant and the Prosecuting Counsel were absent from court and no sanction were meted on either of them but AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was represented by his Counsel.
25. That section 301 of Cross River Administration of Justice Law 2016 provides that when an issue of interpretation of the Constitution is referred to Court of Appeal for interpretation the lower Court is required to adjourn the trial of the case pending the interpretation of the provision of that constitution.
26. That the issue at the Court of Appeal Calabar borders on the jurisdiction of the Court to assume jurisdiction on the charge against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu having lacks the jurisdiction to do so; as well, whether by sections 214 and 211 Constitution of federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the powers of the Attorney General of Cross River State to prosecute criminal cases does not include investigation of criminal cases except the Nigeria police.
It’s also of importance to alert the public on the politics in this unveiling drama.
The first question is: who reported a case of murder against AIG Mbu and at which police Division? A case of murder is supposed to be transferred from the Division to the State CID. Where was his cautionary statement made or volunteered by me?
  • The second question is: why should a case of murder on 24th December, 2018 be charged to court in July, 2021

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Union Bank Fraud: EFCC arraigns Ex Union Bank Staff, others for alleged N1.4 billion fraud…

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former employee of Union Bank, Abdulmalik Salau, and two others for cybercrime and money laundering involving about N1.403 billion.
The other accused persons are Ismaila Atumeyi and Ngene Dominic.
EFCC announced the arrest of the defendants in November.
The anti-graft agency’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the trio were arraigned before the trial judge, Tjinani Ringim, of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.
They face 18 charges to which they all pleaded “not guilty” on Monday.
Following their “not guilty” plea, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, called for the commencement of their trial, a request he anchored on the provision of section 273 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
“Therefore, we will, with all humility, ask your Lordship for the acceleration of this trial.
My Lord, Section 300 of the ACJA also expects the prosecution to give a very brief summary of the case it has against the defendants,” the lawyer said.
How defendants allegedly diverted bank’s N1.4billion’
Mr Oyedepo also informed the judge that the prosecution had lined up six witnesses to testify against the defendants.
He said the prosecution would, through the witnesses, show to the court “how the defendants agreed among themselves to hack into the database of Union Bank Plc, transferred funds belonging to the bank and its customers and used the proceeds of this unlawful activity to acquire properties for themselves.”
He added that the prosecution would show how the third defendant, a former member of staff of Union Bank Plc, allegedly worked with the others and “succeeded in hacking into the database of the bank”
He alleged that the defendants, in different instalments, moved over N1.4 billion into the accounts of FAV Oil and Gas Limited and Atus Homes Limited.
The prosecuting lawyer added: “The exhibits that the prosecution will tender include the documentary exhibit that shows that the sum of $480,000 was found in the possession of the third defendant and that the sum of N326, 400 million cash was found in a black Escalade car in the possession of first and second defendants.
“My lord, the case is such that, in its nature, requires the cooperation of both the prosecution and the defence team to see its expeditious determination.
“I, therefore, urge your lordship, pending the determination of the case, to remand the defendants in a correctional facility, where adequately trained personnel will see to their welfare and wellbeing.”
EFCC alleged that part of the offences allegedly committed by the defendant was contrary to and punishable under section 16(1) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015.
Another of the offences was also said to violate section 18( a), 15 (2) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011, as amended and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
Defence lawyers deny allegations, apply for bail
Responding to the prosecuting counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde, the lawyer representing the first and second defendants, Messrs Atumeyi and Dominic, said: “No iota of evidence has been admitted against the first and second defendants.
The defendants having pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, Mr Ayorinde said “they are constitutionally and legally under the presumption of innocence until otherwise determined by the court.”
The defence lawyer added:* “In order to further the presumption of innocence of the first and second defendants, we filed on November 30, 2022, an application for bail seeking your lordship’s admission to bail of the first and second defendants pending the hearing and determination of the charge against them.
“The prosecution has responded to the application by serving on the first and second defendants a counter filed on 5 December 2022.”
He said in ensuring an expeditious and speedy dispensation of the case, he was prepared to move the application for bail immediately.
The application for bail for the first and second defendants is ready for hearing. The summons for bail is dated November 30, 2022. Since it seeks admission of the defendants to bail in very liberal terms, the grounds of the application are well stated in the summons,” he said.
Mr Ayorinde, who described the offence as bailable, stated that the defendants, “who were arrested and detained as far back as November 1, 2022,” would not jump bail.
He maintained that the “incarceration of the first and second defendants ought not to continue, even if on some terms. Their rights to bail have not been taken away; the charges preferred against them are bailable.”
The third defendant’s lawyer, Babatunde Ogunwo, also denied the allegations levelled against his client and “adopted “wholeheartedly” the argument of Mr Ayorinde.
EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Oyedepo, opposed the defendants’ bail applications.
“In the very unlikely event that the court disagrees with our submissions, we pray your lordship to impose such conditions that will secure the attendance of the defendants, particularly the first and second defendants whose applications are being argued.”
The judge adjourned until Tuesday for ruling on the bail application of the first and second defendants.

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Winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship gets listed in The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR)

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Winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship gets listed in The World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR)

Emmanuel Ojeabulu, winner of the 61st FirstBank Lagos Open Golf Championship has been listed in the WAGR.

The premier golf championship which was held from 18 – 20 November at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 was keenly contested by over 190 low handicap players from several golf clubs in the country. Benin based Emmanuel Ojeabulu won the 3-day championship.

Playing three-shots off the pace going into the last 18-holes, Ojeabulu played one of the best golf of his life, maintaining steady pars for a closing 74, 3-over the course par to win the World Amateur Golf Ranking recognized event by two shots.

Ojeabulu started his game with an opening 75, a second day score of 78 and a closing 74 to replace Ilorin based Aminu Kadir, the tournament defending champion on the winners list.

Overnight leader, 20-year-old product of David Mark Golf Academy, George Paul who was tipped to win the tournament collapsed under pressure closing with an unimpressive 79 to lose by two-shots.

In the third position is Muyideen Olaitan, three-time winner of the coveted FirstBank Lagos Open trophy while Iyare Osaze was further down on the winners chart by one-shot, leaving perennial contender, Olajide Owolabi, who shot tournaments best score of 72 on day two of the competition in the fifth position.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, sponsors of the annual Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has pledged its commitment to the continuous sponsorship of the tournament which is one of the longest running golf tournaments in Nigeria.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 61st edition of the tournament in Lagos on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan who was represented by Executive Director, Chief Risk Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited Mr. Olusegun Alebiosu said “This year made it 61 years of our undiluted commitment to this cause, and we are absolutely delighted with the amazing support and partnership we have enjoyed from Ikoyi Club 1938 thus contributing to building a legacy not only for golf and golfers, but sports in its entirety.

 

To all the amateur golfers produced at this year’s championship, these champions are an inspiration and testament that you can do the impossible and I look forward to celebrating you as winners in future championships. Remember that in the words of Ben Hogan, “The most important shot in Golf is the next one”, he added.

 

Satisfied with the turnout of the participants, Golf Captain, Tony Oboh thanked the sponsors for keeping the tournament going, saying FirstBank commitment should be emulated.

“It is not easy to keep a tournament like this going, I therefore congratulate FirstBank for their commitment”, Oboh said.

Since its debut, FirstBank Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship has been the most consistent and premier amateur golf event in West Africa and has produced great champions most of who are competing in the elite professional golf cadre. Last year, the Championship threw up Ilorin based Aminu Kadir who won the landmark edition. It is expected that this year’s edition will produce another great winner.

 

Other FirstBank-sponsored sporting events include the Georgian Cup of Kaduna Polo Tournament, sponsored for 102 years; the Dala Tennis Hard Court in Kano Club for over 30 years; the Obasanjo Pro-Amateur Golf tournament of Abeokuta Club now in its 6th year. The Bank’s influence in the development of sport in Nigeria is under its First@Sport initiative.

 

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