Court Sentences Former Bank PHB MD, Francis Atuche To Over 6 Years In Prison

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An Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court has sentenced a former managing director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche to over 6 years in prison.

In a judgment that lasted over 10 hours, Justice Lateefat Okunnu convicted Atuche alongside a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu.

The two were convicted on at least 6 of a 27-count amended charge of conspiracy to commit a felony and stealing brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former bank MD, his wife- Elizabeth, and Anyanwu were accused of stealing N25.7 billion belonging to the bank. Elizabeth was, however, discharged and acquitted.

Atuche is also standing trial over N125 billion alleged fraud before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.

He was arraigned in 2014, alongside Charles Ojo, a former managing director of Spring Bank Plc, on an amended 45 counts before Justice Saliu Seidu, before the judge was transferred out of the Lagos division.

The case was subsequently transferred to Justice Ayokunle Faji and the defendants were re-arraigned in 2017.

Justice Lateefat ruled that the defendants should make restitution of the amount stolen from the bank and are to pay back the sum of N25.7billion to the Federal government to replace the funds stolen from the public to bail out the bank.

According to the Judge, they are to serve their jail terms at the Kirikiri maximum correctional facility in Lagos.




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