A former managing director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, was on Wednesday, June 16, sentenced to six years imprisonment over N25.7 billion fraud.
Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Ikeja high court also sentenced a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu, to six years imprisonment, over the same crime, Premium Times reported.
The judge also sentenced Ugo Anyanwu, the bank’s former chief financial officer, to six years in prison.
Mr Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was, however, discharged and acquitted.
The former bank chief, his wife, and Mr Anyanwu were accused of stealing and conspiring to steal N25.7 billion belonging to the bank.
They were arraigned in 2011 before Mrs Okunnu and they pleaded not guilty.
Reading her judgment that lasted over 10 hours, Mrs Okunnu upheld the arguments of Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), the EFCC prosecutor, that the N25.7 billion was stolen, not loaned,, as argued by Mr Atuche.
She held that the money belonged to the bank and that it was capable of being stolen.
“The 1st defendant confirmed the bank’s ownership of the money when he said the bank in lending money makes profit.
“I am persuaded by the statement of Pat Utomi that ‘The bank still has control over the money that’s left in its coffers, no matter who uses it.”