Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos has fixed for November 26, for the re-arraignment of Prince Johnson Adekunle Adeyeba, the former Managing Director of the defunct Gulf Bank Plc and two others over alleged N15 billion fraud.
Others to be re-arraigned by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) alongside the former Managing Director are; a Briton, Gareth Marvyn Wilcox, the managing director of Ibom Power Company; and a lawyer, Mr. Uche Uwechia, who was the former legal advisor to the defunct Gulf Bank Plc.
Justice Osiagor who presided over the court fixed the new date at the consent of the parties.
The defendants were first arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Yunusa, sometimes in 2020, on a 21-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and illegal conversion of fund of the sum of N15, 761,176.24 billion.
Upon compulsory retirement of Justice Yunusa from the Bench, the defendants’ charge was transferred to Justice Rilwan Aikawa.
Justice Osiagor inherited the case file upon transfer of Justice Aikawa to the another jurisdiction of the court.
However, at the resumed hearing of the charges against the defendants on Wednesday, the prosecutor, Patience P. Udoh, told the court that the matter is fixed for the the defendants’ re-arraignment, as the matter is coming up for the first time before the court.
However, counsel to the defendants asked the court for an adjournment, due to one of the defendants’ ill-health.
Consequently, and at the consent of the parties, Justice Osiagor fixed November 26, for the re-arraignment of the defendants.
The defendants and others now at large in a charge marked FHC/L/497c/2013, were alleged to have between April 1, 2001; December 24, 2002; August 8, 2003 and some other dates, fraudulently used their various positions to convert the sum of N15, 761,176.24 to fund their private businesses.
Prince Adeyeba, was alleged to have used his position to defraud the defunct bank of the said amount to fund the Briton’s companies, while the two of them were also alleged to have used the money to purchase a vessel and finance a none existing refinery.
He was also alleged to have fraudulently converted as his personal property two landed properties at Plot 22 and 23 Zone K, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island, Lagos, with Certificate of Occupancy numbers: 27/27/96 and 7/7/96 dated 20 June, 2003, belonging to the defunct bank.
The lawyer, Mr. Uche Uwechia, was alleged to have aided the former bank manager to convert the said land to his personal properties. The value of the land is said to be N600 million.
The offences according to the AGF are contrary to section 15(1)(c) (2) and (3) of the failed banks (recovery of debt) and financial malpractices in banks act Cap F2,2010 and punishable under section16(1),(2),18(1)(2) and 19(4)of the failed banks (recovery of debt and financial malpractices.
The defendants have pleaded not guilty to all the counts.