By Effiong Usoro
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has convicted one Ekpe Sunday, a staff of Ecobank Plc who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent diversion of funds, forgery and impersonation to the tune of N7,067,576.55.
Tony Orilade, acting head, media & publicity for the anti-graft agency is a press statement issued Monday, said that his co-defendant, Dennis Joseph James, was however, discharged and acquitted by the Court.
According to Orilade, EFCC had on May 21, 2014 arraigned the two staff of Ecobank alongside the bank over a fraudulent financial transaction in which one Chief Okon Ukim Edem lost the sum of N12,872,967.29, proceeds from the sale of shares.
Delivering judgement on December 7, 2018, Justice Ojukwu, discharged and acquitted the second defendant, Dennis, but convicted the first defendant, Ekpe and sentenced him to two years in prison, with an option of fine of N1million. He was also ordered to pay the victim (Edem) the sum of N2million as restitution.
Justice Ojukwu also found the third defendant (Ecobank) culpable, and ordered the bank to “refund to the PW1 (Chief Okon Ukim Edem) the sum of N12,872,967.29, forthwith being the sum of money involved in this fraudulent financial transaction, which he lost as a result of the negligence of the third defendant”.
Additional report by Emmanuel Udom