First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is in big trouble as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday, November 4th, 2019 arraigned the financial institution alongside two of its employees; Timothy Shoon, an Account Officer and Obende Thomas, Head of Operations over alleged advanced fee fraud and criminal negligence.
The trio were made to appear before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Makurdi, Benue State.
One of the charges reads: “That you, First City Monument Bank being a financial institution, sometime in February, 2018, in Makurdi within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, as a result of your negligence, failed to exercise due diligence as specified in the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 1991 (as amended) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7(3)(a) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2009 and punishable under the same Act.”
But the suspects reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges. It was on this ground that the prosecution counsel, G. G. Chia-Yakua asked the court for a trial date and for the defendants to be remanded in prison custody.
However, the Counsel to defendants, F.M.E. Nezan made an oral application for their bail on liberal terms.
In his ruling, Justice Olajuwon granted them bail in the sum of N1,000,000. 00 (One Million Naira) each, with one surety in like sum.
He also ordered that the sureties must come from reputable companies or banks and not below the level of the defendants.
The presiding Justice added that the sureties must also present a letter of identification from their employers to the court and must show evidence of tax clearance, as well as submit two recent passport photographs of themselves, while their addresses and documents presented to the court must be verified by the registrar and the prosecutor.
Also, the case was adjourned to December 10 for trial, while the defendants were remanded in a Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of their bail conditions.