First City Monument Bank Manager arraigned over fraud
Branch Manager of a First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Tope Munis, has been dragged before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja for allegedly aiding and abetting N1.2billion fraud, property of Star Orient Nigeria Limited.
Tope Munis, who is branch manager of the GRA branch of FCMB was arraigned on 15 counts amended charge alongside Dare Osamo and Ayoola Bisola who had earlier been arraigned for the alleged fraud before Justice Oyindamola Ogala.
At the resumption of trial today, the Director, Public Prosecution, Lagos State, Dr. Jide 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 owned by a businessman, Otunba Babatunde Akanbi Babalola.
According to the amended charge, Tope Munis on the 15th day of February, 2016, while acting as Branch Manager, First City Monument Bank PLC. situated at No 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area (G R.A), Ikeja allegedly committed the offence.
The charge further states that Munis and Osamo, allegedly demonstrated intention to defraud and without lawful authority or excuses approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nig. Ltd 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 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 and no BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited with 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.
Following the amended charges, Dr. Martins urged the court to take their pleas . Consequently, Tope Munis pleaded not guilty to four-count charges relating to him out of the fifteen amended count charges
The state prosecutor, thereafter, asked 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 represented Dr. Wale Olawoyin, SAN as a counsel to the branch 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 because the offence allegedly commented by the defendants are 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 turn down the bail application of the defendant.
Delivering ruling on the bail application, Justice Ogala granted the 3rd defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with two sureties. Sureties must be resident in the state and have title to landed property.
Justice Ogala further said that the defendant must provide evidence of tax payment to state government, deposit his International passport with registrar of the court, with residential address verified.