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Cecilia Ibru, Others Granted Bail….. Barred from Overseas Trip

Source: huhuonline.com
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has barred former managing directors and chief executive officers of Oceanic Bank plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru; Union Bank plc, Mr. Bartholomew Bassey Ebong; Afribank plc, Mr Sebastian Adage and three others from traveling abroad. A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has barred former managing directors and chief executive officers of Oceanic Bank plc, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru; Union Bank plc, Mr. Bartholomew Bassey Ebong; Afribank plc, Mr Sebastian Adage and three others from traveling abroad until the conclusion of their trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. This restriction order was contained in a ruling given on Monday on their bail applications. Others affected by the order are managing director of Falcon Securities Limited, Mr. Peter Ololo and Messrs Henry Onyemem and Niyi Albert Opeodu, both former directors of Union Bank plc. Justice Dan Abutu, in admitting them to bail, ruled that they must present a surety each in the sum of N100million. The surety must be a Nigerian and must either be a serving Senator or chairman or director of a financial services company with an asset base of not less than N1billion as at the 2008 annual report of the company or Speaker of a state's House of Assembly or Deputy Speaker of a state's House of Assembly. The surety must present evidence of ownership of a landed property in Ikoyi, Victoria Island or Lekki and such evidence must be verified by the EFCC. He also ruled that each of the suspects now granted bail must be reporting to the Abuja corporate headquarters of the EFCC on the first working day of each month.Justice Abutu explained that the suspects were granted bail because the offences for which they were arraigned by the EFCC are bailable. He also said that there was no evidence to prove that they would impede the investigations of the charges preferred against them, “Since the EFCC had concluded investigations on their cases”. Counsel to the EFCC, Godwin Obla, leading seven other counsels, informed the court of the readiness of the Commission to proceed on the trial of the suspects. He, therefore, demanded an early date for the commencement of the trial. The request was granted and the Judge fixed November 25, 2009 to this effect. Meanwhile, ruling on the bail application of former managing director and chief executive officer of Finbank plc, Mr Okey Nwosu would be delivered on Tuesday. The court would also rule on the bail applications of eight former directors of Intercontinental Bank plc on Tuesday. The directors are: Messrs Raymond Obieri; Hyacinth U.F.Enuha, Ikechi O. Kalu; Christopher Adebayo Alabi; Samuel Adegbite; Alhaji Isyaku Umar; Bayo Dada and Elder ( Dr ) Sanni Adams. It would be recalled that 16 suspects, comprising 15 individuals and one firm: Falcon Securities Limited were arraigned before the court on Monday August 31, 2009. The bank chiefs were held in connection with severe trouble in five banks, necessitating the sack of their managing directors and executive directors by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The EFCC has been making frantic efforts to recover loans amounting to N747billion granted various individuals and organizations by the five banks. Till date, the Commission had recovered more than N70billion from loan defaulters who were initially given seven days within which to repay their loans to the banks. The arraignment of the 16 suspects is the biggest single arraignment made by the EFCC since its inception in 2003. | Article source