Ikeja Branch Manager of First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB), Tope Munis, has been arraigned before an Ikeja High Court of Lagos State, for allegedly aided N1.2 billion fraud, property of Star Orient Nigeria Limited.
The FCMB Manager, Munis, was slammed with a 15 count-amended charge alongside one Dare Osamo and Ayoola Bisola, who were formerly arraigned before the court presided over by Justice (Mrs.) Oyindamola Ogalla
Arraigning the banker, Dr. Jide Martin’s, Lagos State’ Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) told the court that the State have an amended charge to include the Branch manager who allegedly connived with the two defendants, to swindle Star Orient owned by a businessman, Otunba Babatunde Akanbi Babalola.
According to the amended charge, Tope Munis, had on February 15, 2016, while acting as Branch Manager, First City Monument Bank Plc, situate at 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area (G R.A) Branch allegedly committed the offence.
The charge further states that Munis and Osamo, allegedly demonstrates intention to defrauding and without lawful authority or excuses approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nigeria Limited, when there were no SCUML (i.e Special Control Unit against Money Laundering) certificate number on the account opening form.
The charge also states that the defendanrs, 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 nor Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) 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 announced to the court of the existence of the amended charge urged the court to take his plea over the allegations leveled against him.
Consequently, Tope Munis pleaded not guilty to four-count charges relating to him out of the fifteen amended count charges.
Dr. Martins, thereafter, asked the court for a trial date and a remand order pending the determination of his bail application.
Responding to the DPP’s request, Mr. J. O. Olushade who represents Dr. Wale Olawoyin (SAN) as a counsel to the Bank manager, toled 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 because the offence allegedly commented by the defendants are bailable.
Countering the bail application, Dr. Martins, said the court must consider the severity of the offence, and urged the court to discountenance defendant’s bail application.
Delivering ruling on the bail application, Justice Ogala granted the banker bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties.
The court ordered that the sureties must be resident in the state and have title to landed property. She said they must provide evidence of tax payment to state government as well as their residential address be verified. She further ordered the defendant to submit his international passport.