The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 arraigned two staff of Ecobank Plc, Ekpe Sunday and Denis Joseph James alongside Ecobank, before Justice I. L Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on a 2-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent diversion of funds, forgery and impersonation to the tune of N7, 067, 576.55 (Seven Million, Sixty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Naira, Fifty-Five Kobo only).

Sunday and James were alleged to have failed to exercise due diligence in opening a spurious account for a fraudster, in the name of a pensioner, Chief Ukim Okon Edem. As a result of their negligence, the fraudster used the account to convert and steal N7, 067, 576.55(Seven Million, Sixty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Naira, Fifty five kobo only) being proceeds from the sale of the shares of the pensioner.

When the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you Ekpe Sunday and Denis Joseph James on or about 3rd February, 2013, at Ecobank 92, Oron Road, Uyo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did facilitate and contribute to failure to exercise due diligence in opening account No. 0273002548 purportedly in the name of Ukim Okon Edem which account was used to fraudulently steal and convert the total sum of N7,067,576.55( Seven Million, Sixty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Six Naira, Fifty-Five kobo only)being proceeds of the sale of shares of Mr. Ukim Okon Edem and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 7(3)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.

Counsel to the EFCC, Ben Ubi, informed the court that he was ready for trial and prayed that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody. However, counsel to the first accused person, Edet Ekanem moved an oral application for bail. He reminded the court that, the offence for which his client is standing trial, was bailable. Counsel to the second accused person, C.O. Ezedi and counsel to Ecobank Plc, Ukem Frank, aligned themselves with Ekanem and prayed the court to admit their clients to bail.

Justice Ojukwu granted each of the accused persons bail in the sum of N1 (One Million Naira) and a surety each in like sum. The surety must be resident in the jurisdiction of the court and must offer an evidence of tax payment.

He adjourned the matter till July 7 and 8, 2014 and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Uyo prison, until they meet their bail conditions.


Media & Publicity
21st May, 2014