Illicit drug: Court adjourns trial of two Diamond Bank Managers till July 8
A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, adjourned further trial in a criminal charge filed against two managers of Diamond Bank Plc, and two others by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The trial judge, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola fixed the new date after rejecting exhibits tendered by the anti-drug agency during the trial.
Diamond Bank Plc and two of its managers, Lasisi Abayomi and Hillary Ojukwu, Oni Oil and Gas Limited and Mrs Lizzy Chinyere Ikenua, were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering.
But, all the accused persons plead not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed proceedings of the matter today, NDLEA tendered some bank’s documents and urged the court to admit them as exhibits.
The exhibits include statement of account, account opening package and others.
But, opposing the admissibility of the documents, lawyer to the accused persons, Mr. O Oladele urged the court to disregard the documents on the grounds that the documents were not certified.
He argued that Section 84 of the Evidence Act stated that before any document could be tendered such document should be certified.
Ruling on it, Justice Olatoregun-Ishola declared the documents as inadmissible and consequently rejected them.
“The objection raised by the defence is hereby upheld. The documents sought to be tendered by the prosecution is hereby inadmissible and is marked rejected,” the judge ruled.
Upon the rejection of the documents, the prosecutor, Mr. Nwagu sought for an adjournment, and the matter was adjourned till July 8, for continuation of trial.
In the charge, NDLEA alleged that the bank and its two managers in August 2006, within the jurisdiction of the court failed to verify the true identity of its customer; Oni Oil and Gas Limited, Chief Onoche Ikenua (now deceased) and Mrs. Lizzy Chinyere Ikenua before opening an account no. 0212010006203 in favour of the company, and entering into other fiduciary relationships with it.
Count 5 of the charge read in parts: “That you Hillary Ojukwu being an employee of Diamond Bank Plc, a financial institution, between August and December 2006 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided Oni Oil and Gas Ltd, Chief Onoche Ikenua (now deceased), and Mrs. Lizzy Chinyere Ikenua to convert various sums of money (amount yet to be determined) being money derived directly or indirectly from a crime to wit: illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) and punishable under Section 14(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004”.
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