A Lagos High Court in Ikeja Monday dismissed the N25.7billion criminal charge preferred against the former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche, and others.
Atuche was set free alongside his wife, Elizabeth and a former Chief Financial Officer of Bank PHB, Mr. Ugo Anyanwu.
The three persons were prosecuted by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing N25.7 billion from the bank.
In a ruling delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, the court held that it is duty bound to comply with the decisions of Court of Appeal in the appeal of Okey Nwosu and Erastus Akingbola.
The judge noted that though the prosecution, in its submission, was right to say that count one to ten of the charge was anchored on stealing which falls within the purview of State High Court.
However, the judge maintained that the prosecution did not make any submission to as whether count 11 to 27 have any nexus with shares and stocks.
“The case on all, falls with Okey Nwosu’s case. Count one to ten is within the armbit of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State because it deals with stealing. Counsel to the Commission did not make any submission to as whether count 11 to 27 have any nexus with shares and stocks. The criminal charge is hereby struck out and the accused persons are hereby discharges. ” the judge ruled.