FCMB Manager In N1.2BN Fraud Allegation

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For allegedly aiding and abetting the commission of a crime, the Ikeja GRA Branch Manager of First City Monument Bank, (FCMB) Tope Munis, has been to say all he knows about One Billion, Two Hundred Million (N1.200, 000, 000.00) fraud

Tope Munis was arraigned on fifteen counts of amended charges alongside Dare Osamo and Ayoola Bisola, who were earlier arraigned over the alleged fraud before the court presided over by Justice Oyindamola Ogala.

At the resumption of the trial today, the Director, Lagos State Department of Public Prosecution, Dr Dre Martins, informed the court that the state has an amended charge to include the Branch Manager who allegedly connived with Dare Osamo to swindle Star Orient Nigeria Limited, owned by a businessman, Otunba Babatunde Akanbi Babalola.

According to the amended charge, Tope Munis on the 15th day of February, 206, while acting as Branch Manager, First City Monument Bank PLC. situated at No 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area (G R.A) branch allegedly committed the offence.

The charge further states that Munis and Osamo, allegedly demonstrate an intention to defraud and without lawful authority or excuses approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nigeria Limited when there was no SCUML (i.e Special Control Unit against Money Laundering) certificate number on the account opening form.

The charge also states that the duo of Munis and Osamo allegedly runs foul of banking rules when they opened the account without full details of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, no means of identification or BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited and upon a forged resolution purportedly signed by Dare Osamo as sole signatory when there are two directors who are signatories to Star Orient Nigeria Limited’s account.

Dr Martins, upon announcing to the court the existence of the amended charge, urged the court to take the Manager’s plea over the allegations levelled against him.

Consequently, Tope Munis pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge relating to him, out of the fifteen amended count charges

The state prosecutor, thereafter, prayed the court for a trial date and a remand order pending the determination of his bail application.

In a counter-reaction, J.O. Olushade who represents Dr Wale Olawoyin (SAN) counsel to the Manager, informed the court of his bail application while praying for liberal terms.

The defence counsel moved the bail application by adopting it as he prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail owing to the fact that the offence allegedly committed by the defendant is bailable.

In his opposition to the bail, the state DPP said the court must consider the severity of the offence, as he prayed the court to reject the bail application.

In her ruling, Justice Ogala granted Munis bail in the sum of Twenty Million Naira (N20,000,000.00) only with two sureties in like sum, each of the sureties must own property valued at Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00) and must be resident of this state.

The court also directed that one of the sureties must have title to landed property, produce evidence of financial status, and the residential addresses of the sureties must be provided while the defendant’s international passport must be submitted to the Chief Registrar of the court

The court thereafter adjourned the matter to 26th May 2022 for the continuation of the trial.

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