Court Dismisses N25.7bn Charge Against Atuche, Others

A High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria’s south-west region, has dismissed the 25.7 billion Naira criminal charge preferred against the former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr Francis Atuche, and others.

Mr Atuche, alongside his wife Elizabeth and a former Chief Financial Officer of Bank PHB, Mr Ugo Anyanwu, were prosecuted by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing 25.7 billion Naira from the bank.

A Lagos High Court judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu, had earlier stopped further attempts by the former Bank PHB boss to delay the suit filed against him and the other two persons by the EFCC.

At the resumed trial of the case, EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, insisted that the defence team led by Tayo Oyetibo, call Atuche or his wife to the witness box, following their failure to produce a witness who, according to them, was meant to come in from Abuja, but could not make it due to bad weather.

However, Mr Atuche was set free alongside his wife, Elizabeth and Mr Anyanwu.

The presiding judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, in his ruling, held that it was duty bound to comply with the decisions of Court of Appeal in the appeal of Mr Okey Nwosu and Mr Erastus Akingbola.

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