News Column

EFCC Arraigns Finance Director Over N48 Million Fraud

June 9, 2014

Anayo Onukwugha

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a former executive director of Lonestar Drilling Nigeria Limited, John Adet Esiegbuya, before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, over a $300,000 (N48m) fraud against the company.

Esiegbuya was charged with an eight-count charge including forgery, altering of official documents, stealing, money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud, along with two others, Dele Kuti and Anya Edmund Duroha, (both at large).

Esiegbuya's appointment was terminated by the oil servicing company based in Port Harcourt last year when the company discovered that $300, 000 had been withdrawn from its account in a new generation bank.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to all eight charges read to him at the Federal High Court before Justice Lambo Akanbi.

Kuti, who was in charge of oil and gas operations in a new generation bank, was the accounts officer of Lonestar Drilling Nigeria Limited at the bank in question. He was charged in absentia for conspiring to facilitate the fraudulent withdrawal of the money from the bank.

Counsel to EFCC, Mrs Adebola Olatunji, who initially opposed a written bail application tendered by the counsel to the defendant, Kola Olapujo, because she was uncomfortable with some paragraphs in the written application, later told the presiding judge that she would not object to an oral application for bail.

Olapujo had argued in his written application for bail that his client, Esiegbuya, had already being granted an administrative bail by the EFCC, a window, the defendant and his counsel had not failed to utilise.

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Source: AllAfrica

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