N13m Securities Fraud: Court Convicts One, Discharges Another

March 16, 2020
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Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court sitting in
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has convicted one Ekpe Sunday, a staff of Ecobank Plc who
was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a
two-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).

His co-defendant, Dennis Joseph James, was however,
discharged and acquitted by the Court.

The EFCC had on May 21, 2014 arraigned the two staff of
Ecobank alongside the bank over a fraudulent financial transaction in which one
Chief Okon Ukim Edem lost the sum of N12,872,967.29 proceeds from the sale of
shares.

Delivering judgement on December 7, 2018, Justice Ojukwu,
discharged and acquitted the second defendant, Dennis, but convicted the first
defendant, Ekpe and sentenced him to two years in prison, with an option of
fine of N1million. He was also ordered to pay the victim (Edem) the sum of
N2million as restitution.

Justice Ojukwu also found the third defendant (Ecobank)
culpable, and ordered the bank to “refund to the PW1 (Chief Okon Ukim Edem) the
sum of N12,872,967.29 (Twelve Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-two Thousand,
Nine Hundred and Sixty-seven Naira, Twenty-nine Kobo) forthwith being the sum
of money involved in this fraudulent financial transaction, which he lost as a
result of the negligence of the third defendant”.

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