By Eric Elezuo
Four stockbrokers on Wednesday appeared before Justice Josephine Oyefeso of a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, for their involvement in an alleged N13 billion fraud.
The defendants, Adeyemi Oluwaseun, Suleiman Yusuf Obhakume, Yusuf Imran Adekunle and Haruna Issah, are being prosecuted by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for stealing the sum of N13 billion, belonging to First Marina Trust Limited.
The defendants, who were first arraigned on November 16, 2017, on seven count amended charge pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were alleged to have committed the offence while they were in the employment of the organization.
Part of the amended charge before the court stated that “Adeyemi Oluwaseun, Suleiman Yusuf Obhakume , Yusuf Imran Adekunle and Haruna Issah on or about 17th day of May, 2016 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court stole the sum of (N237, 250, 000) Two hundred and thirty seven thousand, two hundred and fifty thousand naira only, property of First Marina Trust Limited.
“Adeyemi Oluwaseun, Suleiman Yusuf Obhakume, Yusuf Imran Adekunle and Haruna Issah, on or about 27th day of May, 2016 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court stole the sum of N500, 200,000, property of First Marina Trust Limited.”
They were also accused of “stealing the sum of N183, 500,000, N180, 000,000, N186, 000,000 and N14, 749,000 respectively,” all property of First Marina Trust Limited.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Anselm Ozioko, had held that the offense is contrary to Section 285(1) and (8) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
During examination by the prosecution counsel on January 17, 2018, the prosecution witness who is the Chief Risk Officer of the company, Anthony Onyeoghane, told the court that the report of an internal investigation conducted by the company indicted the defendants of the offence.
“I was a member of the investigation committee set up by the company. A report was delivered to the management after investigation. I signed the report and every member of the committee signed the report. It was during investigation that this fraud was discovered,” he told the court.
The matter was adjourned till April 16 for continuation of trial.