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The Federal High Court in Lagos will, on November 30, begin the trial of a former bank manager, Fidelis Egueke, over an alleged N179,498,000 fraud.
Justice Tijjani Ringim fixed the date following Egueke’s re-arraignment by the Force Criminal Investigation Department (Force CID) Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, on a 16-count amended charge.
Prosecution counsel Morufu Animashaun told the court that the amended charge was sequel to fresh allegations discovered after the previous two charges were filed against the defendant.
Animashaun prayed the court to strike out the existing charge, and order Egueke to take his plea on the fresh 16-count charge.
The judge granted his application and ordered that the amended charge be read to the defendant for his plea to be taken.
Egueke pleaded not guilty.
His lawyer, Ugochukwu Egwu, prayed the court to allow the defendant continue on the bail terms earlier granted him by the court.
Animashaun informed the court that he was ready for trial adding that one of the witnesses was in court.
Justice Ringim granted the defence’s application and adjourned till November 30 for trial.
Fidelis, who worked at the bank’s Asaba, Delta State branch, resigned his appointment following the allegation. He was first arraigned sometime in November 2020, on amended charges of alleged conspiracy, fraud, unlawful conversion, obtaining by false pretence and unauthorised withdrawal.
The police alleged that Egueke conspired with others now at large and without any authorisation, fraudulently removed the N174,498,000 from a company account domiciled at Guarantee Trust Bank Plc.
It was further alleged that the defendant committed the offences between May 14, 2010, and December 31, 2019.
The offences, according to Animashaun, contravened sections 8(a), 1(1)(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and were punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
It was also said to contravene Section 383 (1) of the Criminal Code Act Laws of the Federation 2004 and punishable under Section 390 (1) of the same Criminal Code Act Laws of Federation 2004. Culled: The Nation.