High court strikes out case against ex- Mainstreet Bank chief, Akingbola

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A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Friday struck out a seven count-criminal charge filed against a former Managing Director of Mainstreet Bank Registrars, Oluwadare Akingbola, and five others after an application to withdraw the suit by the Inspector-General of Police.

Mr. Akingbola and his co-defendants – Suleiman Adedokun, Adegbami Adegoke Elijah, Patrick Okoh, Dauda Taiwo Oluwashola and Olufemi Charles Olanihun and others still at large — were alleged to have in January 2017, at the Registrars’ office located at 2a, Gbagada Expressway, Anthony Village, conspired among themselves to launder N760 million obtained through unlawful activity.

In the charge marked FHC/L/189c/2017, the police alleged that all the accused persons had between February and December 2016 stolen N280 million belonging to Mainstreet Bank Registrars Limited.

Mr. Adegoke, the third defendant, was alleged to have received the said money which the police said he knew to have been stolen.

The offences, police prosecutor Henry Obiazi said, were contrary to and punishable under sections 8(a), 7(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences 2006, and sections 516, 390, 390(9) and 427 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Friday, which was fixed for the arraignment of the suspects, Mr. Obiazi, informed the court that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, had instructed the prosecution to return the case file.

Mr. Obiazi told the court that the IGP’s decision was sequel to a letter received from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, whom he said wanted ”to reassign the matter for reinvestigation.”

Mr. Obiazi also told the court that the decision of the IGP was brought pursuant to section 108(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

He, therefore, urged the court to withdraw the charge against the suspects, pending when the IGP will order for the suspects’ prosecution.

Counsel to Mr. Akingbola and the others, E. Udeh, told the court that prior to the withdrawal of the charges against his clients, he had written a letter to the court to strike out the charge for being defective since the prosecution failed to attach a proof-of-evidence with the charge.

Mr. Udeh cited several judicial authorities to support his call for striking out the charge against his clients.

Satisfied with the submissions of the prosecution and defence teams, Justice Hadizat Rabiu-Shagari, struck out the charges against the suspects.

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