THE Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Thursday, ordered that a former manager of Ecobank Nigeria, Ifeanyi Azike, be remanded in prison.
Azike, who served as branch manager of the bank, between 2016 and 2017 is alleged to have used his position, to divert funds meant for the bank’s customers to the tune of N411million for his personal uses.
He was arraigned before Justice Ayotunde Faji, Federal High Court, Ikoyi and is facing a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, false representation and fraud.
The defendant, who was handed over to the police by the investigative unit of the bank, was brought before the judge by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force.
The charge marked “FHC/L/56c/2019”, reveals that the police alleged that between 2016 and 2017, Azike had fraudulently obtained N150 million from a customer of Ecobank Nigeria under a false pretence of buying him Federal Government Treasury Bills in his bank.
Azike was also alleged to have forged the bank customer’s signature, picture and letter of instruction which he reportedly used in opening another parallel account as Ikenna Okafor Kelvin with account number: 5333063028.
The police also claimed that the bank manager without the consent of the bank fraudulently converted the sum of N411 million belonging to the bank to his personal use.
The offences were said to be contrary to Sections 1 (1) (a), 15(1)(2) and 15(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud related Offence Act No. 14 of 2006, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
However, Azike pleaded not guilty to the charges upon his arraignment.
Following his plea of not guilty, the police prosecutor, Daniel Apochi, urged the court to remand him in prison pending the commencement of his trial.
Justice Faji ordered that Azike, be remanded in prison custody till March 8, when his bail application would be heard.