The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, February 4, 2016 arraigned three top officers of Ishielu West Development Centre, Ebonyi State-Amaka Emeh (Coordinator), Oko Emmanuel (Finance Officer) and Ugwuoke Paul (Administrative Officer)-before Justice A.N. Nwankwo of the State High Court sitting in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State on a two-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N5.5million (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira).
Emeh is alleged to have defrauded Munak Microfinance Bank, after obtaining a loan facility of N5.5million to pay her staff salaries, while awaiting the monthly allocation from the state government.
Also, Emeh allegedly conspired with the two other accused persons to open an account for the Centre with another bank.
When the management of Munak requested her to pay back the loan obtained from the bank, she issued a cheque for N5.5m, which was not honoured upon presentation, owing to insufficient fund in her account.
One of the counts reads: ‘‘That you, Ishielu West Development Centre, Amaka Emeh (being coordinator Ishielu West Development Centre), Oko Emannuel (being Finance Officer, Ishielu West Development Centre) and Ugwuoke Paul (being Admin Officer, Ishielu West Development Centre) on or about the 30th June, 2012 at Abakiliki within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Ebonyi State, issued a United Bank for Africa (U B A) cheque No. 37407401 dated the 30th /6/2012 with the face value of (N5,500,000.00) Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira only) to Mornarch Microfinance Bank, the said cheque when presented for payment within three months was dishonoured on the groundS of insufficient fund standing to the credit of Account upon which it was drawn and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(b) of the Dishonoured Cheque (Offences)Act Cap D11 Laws of the Federation 2004 and Punishable under section 1(1)(b)(i)(ii) of the same Act.’’
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Ajobiewe E. Rotimi, applied for the prosecution to open his case.
Counsel for the 3rd and 4th accused persons, Fryde Edore Akpor and O. Okorie, urged the court to grant their clients bail on liberal terms.
Consequently, Justice Nwankwo granted bail to the third and forth accused persons in the sum N5million each and one surety each in like sum. Each surety must own a landed property within Abakiliki, with evidence of Certificate of Occupancy, which must be submitted to the court registrar and must also submit a recent passport photograph.
The second accused person, Emeh, was ordered to be remanded in prison custody.
The matter was adjourned to March 14, 15 and 16, 2016 for trial.