Photo credit: Ecobank

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned Ecobank Plc for “negligently failing to exercise due diligence in relation to the conduct of financial transactions with Major General Umaru Mohammed.”

The bank, alongside one of its employees, Anieka Udoh, was arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu on five counts.

The EFCC alleged in the charges that the defendants “fraudulently opened and operated an Ecobank account no: 0015052989 in the name of Muhammed Umaru without the knowledge and authority of the customer, Mohammed Umaru.”

The Head of Legal and Prosecution Department at the Lagos office of the EFCC, Anselem Ozioko, said Ecobank and Udoh violated Section 7(3)(a) and (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006 and were liable to be punished under Section 7(3)(b) of the same Act.

In another count, the anti-graft agency alleged that sometime in 2016, Ecobank and Udoh “fraudulently converted Major General Umaru Mohammed’s domiciliary account to a naira account number 0015052989, without the knowledge and authority of Major General Umaru Mohammed and consequently left a debit of N9.2m in the said naira account.”

However, when the charges were read to the defendants in court on Thursday, they pleaded not guilty.

The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Bilikisu Buhari, prayed for a trial date and an order remanding Udoh in the prison custody pending trial.

Justice Saidu, while adjourning till March 12, ordered that Udoh be remanded in prison, pending the hearing of bail application by his lawyer, O. J. Owoh.

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