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Tunde Ayeni took N17bn cash from Skye Bank in 1 year, EFCC alleges



EFCC detains former chairman of defunct Skye Bank Ayeni

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said Mr. Tunde Ayeni allegedly took over N17 billion in raw cash from the Suspense Account of Skye Bank, now Polaris Bank, in one year.

Ayeni, a former Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank Plc took money between January 1 and December 31, 2014, while also allegedly receiving another N3.75 billion from the same account the following year.

The anti-graft agency made the allegations in a 10 countries fraud charge it filed against Ayeni and three others before an Abuja High Court.

Read also: EFCC re-arraigns NBA President Usoro

The suit is however different from the N4.75bn and $5m fraud charge Ayeni and a former Managing Director of the bank, Timothy Oguntayo, are facing before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court.

According to the charge sheet marked FHC/Abuja/CR/37/2019, Ayeni, Oguntayo, Control Dredging Company Limited and Royaltex Paramount Ventures Limited allegedly laundered over N23bn between 2014 and 2015.

The EFCC alleged that on December 24, 2014, Ayeni, while being chairman of the board of Skye Bank, transferred N3bn from the account of the defunct Skye Bank’s Suspense Account to a First City Monument Bank account with number 0758662025 belonging to Control Dredging Company Limited, another company owned by Ayeni.

According to the EFCC, this is in contravention of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 which is punishable under Section 15 of the same Act.

The anti-graft agency further alleged that Ayeni and Oguntayo conspired with others on March 25, 2015 to transfer the sum of N1.25bn from the Suspense Account of Skye Bank to the Skye Bank account of Royaltex Paramount Ventures Limited, another company owned by Ayeni.

“That you, Tunde Ayeni, whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did accept cash payment of the aggregate sum N17, 415, 080, 000.00 taken from the defunct Skye Bank Plc Suspense account and delivered to you by the staff of the defunct Skye Bank Plc which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit, fraud and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 15(2)(b) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”

Nine witnesses, including four employees of Skye Bank, officials of the EFCC and representatives of FCMB were listed against the defendants.

The exhibits which will be tendered in court include written statements, internal bank memos, cash delivery notes and forms, various bank documents, bank instruments and incorporation documents.

Some witnesses listed include Bamidele Are, Kayode Ojo-Osagie, Azeem Abiodun and Olufemi Phillips which are all employees of the bank.

Others listed are Mr. Dare Folarin, Akingbade Adebayo, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed, Mr. Otitoju Moses, Mr. Longe Lolade, Mr. Umar Kangiwa, Abubakar Madaki amongst others.

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