METRO/CRIME

Ex-Zenith Bank Manager Re-Arraigned Over Alleged N179.4m Fraud

A former Zenith Bank Plc manager, Fidelis Egueke was re-arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos over alleged  N179,498 million fraud, by the men of Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex, Alagbon-Ikoyi Lagos.

Fidelis, who last worked as the Asaba, Delta State, Branch manager of Zenith Bank, was re-arraigned before Justice Tijjani Ringim on an amended 13 count-charge of Conspiracy, conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraud.

His rearraignment was sequel to the transfered of the former trial judge, Justice (Professor) Chuka Austine Obiozor, who has been sitting in another jurisdisction of the court.

The former Zenith Bank manager was first arraigned before Justice Obiozor, on December 1, 2020, on a three count-charge of the offences.

At the resumed hearing of the charge against the defendant, the prosecutor, Barrister Morufu A. Animashaun, informed the court of the new amended charge against the defendant, which was not opposed to by his counsel, Ugochukwu Egwu.

Consequently, the prosecutor therefore urged the court allow the reading of the charge, for the defendant to take him plea on the amended charge.

Upon reading the counts charge to the former Zenith Bank manager, he denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the 13 counts.

Following the not guilty plea of the defendant, the prosecutor, Animashaun, asked the court for a trial date.

Responding to the prosecutor’s application, counsel to the defendant, Barrister Egwu, pleaded with the court to allow his client to continue with the former bail terms granted him by the former trial judge.

He also told the court that the matter was initially slated for definite trial, he did not however objected to the new trial date as requested by the prosecutor.

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The defendant’s trial has been fixed for December 6, 7 and 8.

Rearraigning the defendant Wednesday, the prosecutor, Barrister Animashaun, told the court that the defendant and others now at large, between May 14, 2010 and December 31, 2019, at No. 2 Balogun Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, conspired among themselves to obtain the said sum from the Managing Director of Global Select Investment Services Limited, by false pretence that he will help him sell some goods and remit money to his bank.

He had also told the court that the former Zenith Bank manager, upon selling the goods, diverted the proceeds to his account  Zenith Bank Account Number 1020019782, while informed the fraud victim, that most of the goods he imported from USA were inferior and of low standard.

Animashaun also told the court that the offences committed by the defendant, are contrary to Section 8(a) and 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act. And Section 390 (7) Criminal Code Act Laws of Federation 2004.

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