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Appeal Court upholds ex-Bank PHB MD, Atuche’s conviction for N25.7bn fraud



Court adjourns alleged N125bn fraud trial of ex-Bank PHB MD, Atuche

The Court of Appeal, Lagos, on Thursday upheld the conviction of a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for N25.7billion fraud.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, had on June 16, 2021 sentenced Atuche and the bank’s former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, to 12 years and 10 years respectively for their involvement in the disappearance of the fund from the bank’s coffers.

The duo later approached the appeal court to reverse the ruling.

In Thursday’s proceeding, the three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justices Sadiq Umar upheld the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s arguments and unanimously dismissed the appeal.

READ ALSO: EFCC tells court convicted ex-Bank PHB MD, Atuche, used 22 firms, 24 banks to steal N19.2bn

Other members of the panel were Justices Adebukola Banjoko and Kayode Bada.

The appellate court, however, clarified that Atuche’s jail term was 12 years which would run concurrently, and not 120 years as widely reported in several quarters.

It also reduced Anyanwu’s jail term from 10 years to eight years and affirmed the discharge and acquittal of Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth.

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