Alleged N179.4m Fraud: Judge’s Transfer Stalls Trial of Ex-Zenith Bank Manager

The Former Zenith Bank Manager and The IPO After His Arraignment Last Year

Alleged N179.4m Fraud: Judge’s Transfer Stalls Trial of Ex-Zenith Bank Manager

The scheduled trial of Mr. Fidelis Egueke, the former Manager with Zenith Bank Plc, over alleged N179, 498 million fraud, before a Lagos Federal High Court, suffered a set back, today, due to the transfered of the presiding judge, Justice (Prof) Chuka A. Obiozor, to another jurisdiction of the court.

Th defendant, Fidelis, a former manager of Asaba Branch of Zenith Bank, was arraigned before Justice Obiozor led-court, on December 1, 2020, by the men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Alagbon, Ikoyi-Lagos, on a three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraud of N179, 498million.
Arraigning the defendant before the court, the prosecutor, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, had 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 yourselves 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 bank manager, upon selling the goods, diverted the proceeds to his account  Zenith Bank Account Number 1020019782, while informed the fraud victim, Dr. Jude, that most of the goods he imported from USA were inferior and of low standard.

Animashaun had 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. 

The former Zenith bank manager had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Following his not guilty whichsoever,  his counsel, Chief C. A. Ajuyah (SAN), u gee to court to admit hi to bail in the most liberal terms.

Justice Obiozor had however admitted him to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety, who must be a resident within the court’s jurisdiction.

The judge also ordered that the surety my have evidence of three year tax payment, title deed and one year statement of account.

Justice Obiozor subsequently adjourned the matter till March 16, 24, 25, 30 and 31, 2021, for trial.

But at the resumed hearing of the matter of March 16, the defendant applied to court for charge of Counsel, which was granted and made Chief Ajuyah (SAN) withdrew his appearance while his new Counsel, Ugochukwu Egwu, take over the case.

Th development which made the matter to be adjourned till today. 
At the resumed hearing of the matter today, the court Registrar announced to parties that the judge will not be able to proceed on the matter as he has been transferred to another jurisdiction of the court.

Consequently, by the consent of the prosecutor, M. A. Animashaun and defendant’s counsel, Ugochukwu Egwu, the matter was adjourned till June 1.