FCNB Manager arraigned over alleged N1.2bn fraud

The Ikeja GRA Branch Manager of First City Monument Bank(FCMB) Tope Munis has been arraigned before a Lagos State High Court for allegedly aiding in a N1.2 billion fraud belonging to Star Orient Nigeria Limited.

Munis was arraigned on 15-count amended charge alongside Dare Osamo and Ayoola Bisola, who had earlier been arraigned over the alleged fraud before the court presided over by Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

When the matter came up yesterday, the Director, Lagos State Department of Public Prosecution, Dr. Jide Martins, informed the court that the state had an amended charge to include the branch manager who allegedly connived with Osamo to swindle Star Orient owned by a businessman, Mr. Babatunde Akanbi Babalola.

In the amended charge, Munis allegedly, on 15th of February, 2016, while acting as Branch Manager, FCMB situated at No 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area (G R.A) Branch committed the offence.

The charge further stated that Munis and Osamo allegedly demonstrated intention to defraud and without lawful authority or excuses, approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nig. Ltd when there were no SCUML (i.e Special Control Unit against Money Laundering) certificate number on the account opening form.

The charge also stated that the duo of Munis and Osamo, allegedly ran foul of banking rules when they opened the account without full details of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, no means of identification nor BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited and upon a forged resolution purportedly signed by Osamo as sole signatory when there are two directors who are signatories to Star Orient Nigeria Limited’s account.

Martins, upon announcing to the court of the existence of the amended charge, urged the court to take his plea over the allegations leveled against him.

Consequently, Munis pleaded not guilty to four-count charge relating to him out of the 15 amended charges

The state prosecutor, thereafter, asked the court for a trial date and a remand order pending the determination of his bail application.

In a counter reaction, J.O. Olushade who represents Dr. Wale Olawoyin, as a counsel to the branch manager, informed the court of his bail application while praying for liberal terms.

The defence counsel moved the bail application and prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail because the offence allegedly commented by the defendants are bailable.

Opposing the bail application, the state DPP, urged the court to consider the severity of the offence, as he prayed the court to turn down the bail application of the defendant.

Delivering ruling on the bail application, Justice Ogala granted the 3rd defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties.

The court ordered that the sureties must be resident in the state and have title to landed property. She said they must provide evidence of tax payment to state government as well as their residential address be verified. She further ordered the defendant to submit his international passport.

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