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Fraud: Court Grants Ex-Sterling Bank Manager N200 Million Bail

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – An Enugu State High Court on Friday, granted bail of N200 Million naira to a former branch manager of Sterling bank PLC, Mr. Oliver Anidiobi, who is facing trial for allegedly stealing the sum N219 million belonging to Ohha Microfinance Bank Limited Enugu.

Anidiobi is facing trial before the court on 32 count charges of forgery and stealing, slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency accused him of stealing the said money while he was the Enugu branch manager of the new generation bank.

African Examiner reports that the accused was earlier arraigned by EFCC on May 7, 2019 and was remanded in prison custody.

Anidiobi was arrested by EFCC in 2018, following a petition to it by the  Ohha Microfinance Bank lawyer, Olu Omotayo (Esq), an Enugu based legal practitioner .

When the matter came up in court, his lawyer, Ogochukwu Onyema, urged the court to grant his client bail.

Onyema cited Section 158 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Section 36 (5) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, stating that an accused person has to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He further argued that the offence is ordinarily bailable and not a capital offence.

In his submission, the prosecuting counsel and principal legal officer in EFCC, Michael Ani, urged the court to decide the amount involved (N219 Million) if it wants to grant bail, pleading that the anti-graft agency should participate in the verification of the bail bond.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice C.O. Ajah, in the absence of any opposition, admitted the accused person to bail in the sum of N100 million, with two sureties in like sum who must be property owners in Enugu.

Justice Ajah added that the two sureties must also swear an affidavit of means.

He later adjourned the matter to July 19, 2019 for trial.

 

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