The office of Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF on Monday arraigned nine officials of Consolidated Discount House Limited, before a Lagos Federal High Court on 24 count charges bordering on alleged stocks’ fraud, worth N16. 738,700,401.56 billion.
Those arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris, are Stephen Olawale Akinretoye, Mudashiru Adeleke Shittu, Larai Claude-Ennin, Hassan Jamiu Gbenga, and Ajibola Jolaosho.
Others include: Omisore Olawale, Omisope Johnson, Onimole MobolajiAdebowale and Emmanuel Akiola Odedina.
The AGF through its lawyers led by former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu SAN, informed the court that the nine accused persons committed the offences at firm’s office located at Eagle House 38/39 Marina, Lagos, between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2013.
The accused persons were also alleged to have used their various positions in the company to divert several funds belonging to the company to different accounts.
The AGF also alleged that the accused persons between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2013, with intent to defraud, failed to keep proper books of account which failed to give proper state of affairs of the firm.
They were also charged to have failed to exercise due diligence conduct in the conduct of the firm’s financial transactions.
The offences according to the prosecution are sections 15(2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended in 2012, and punishable under 15(3) of the same Act.
The offences are also to be contrary to Section 24 of Banks and other financial institutions Act Cap B3, Laws of the federation, 2004, and Section 7(3) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, Cap A6, LFN 2010.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Upon the plea of the accused persons, their lawyers which includes: Kemi Balogun,SAN, Dr. Abiodun Layonu, SAN, and Dapo Olanipekun, SAN, urge the court to allow their clients to continue to be on the bail conditions earlier granted them.
Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, consented to request of the lawyers to the accused persons, while adjourned the matter till May 13, for trial