Atuche’s objection to N125b fraud case adjourned to April 22

FRANCIS ATUCHE OF BANK PHP
A former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, yesterday prayed a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, to discountenance a document to be tendered as evidence against him, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The prosecution counsel, Kemi Pinhero, sought to tender a Board Resolution of Petosan Oil and Gas Limited, a document the prosecution said would help prove its case, but was opposed by the defence, led by Anthony Idigbe.

Atuche is standing trial along with the former Managing Director of the defunct Spring Bank, Charles Ojo, on an amended 45-count charge bordering on N125billion fraud.

EFCC had re-arraigned them on charges of acquiring Keystone Bank’s shares using depositors’ funds, conspiracy, reckless granting and approval of loans and money laundering. They pleaded not guilty.

Idigbe objected on the basis that Pinheiro could not tender the document from the bar. He said the prosecution ought to tender the document through a witness.

But Pinhero insisted that the law does not make it mandatory that every document must be tendered through a witness.

“We can decide to bring the document without calling a witness. It is a settled legal jurisprudence and it is trite,” he argued.



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