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EFCC re-arraigns former Skye Bank chiefs over alleged N8 billion fraud

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EFCC detains former chairman of defunct Skye Bank Ayeni

Former Chairman, Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), Tunde Ayeni, and the former Managing Director, Timothy Oguntayo, have been re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The duo were arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N8billion.

EFCC stated that their alleged offence is contrary to section 16, 18 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended.

They had initially been arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja on December 17, 2018, shortly after which the judge was transferred out of Abuja to the Delta Division of the Court.

Following the transfer of Justice Dimgba, the case was re-assigned to Justice Ojukwu, necessitating their re-arraignment.

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One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. Tunde Ayeni whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of Skye Bank Plc and Timothy Ajani Oguntayo whilst being the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Skye Bank between the years 2014 and 2015 conspired at different times to do an illegal act, to wit; caused cash delivery to you, Dr. Tunde Ayeni of the sums of money totalling N4,750,000,000 and USD5,000,000 belonging to Skye Bank Plc, contrary to the provisions of Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) read together with Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).”

However, a statement issued by the EFCC on Tuesday by its spokesperson, Tony Orilade, noted that the duo pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Wole Olanipekun, SAN, lead defence counsel, applied that the Court allow the defendants to continue on the bail terms earlier granted them by Justice Dimgba.

Counsel for the EFCC, Suraj Saeda, SAN, noted that the defendant had been attending court as expected, and had not jumped bail, adding that, “we have no objection to deny them bail on the condition imposed by Justice Dimgba.”

Justice Dimgba had admitted them to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties each in like sum, who may be either civil servants of not less than the rank of Assistant Director or be private businessmen or professionals provided that one of the sureties is a civil servant.

Justice Ojukwu, thereafter granted them bail as requested and adjourned to July 2, 2019.

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