SPU arraign Access Bank MD, Herbert Wigwe in court over $6.3m fraud case
The arraignment of Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe and eight others by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of Nigeria Police over alleged $6.3million fraud was stalled ON Thursday at a Lagos High Court, Ikeja due to the absence of some the defendants.
Wigwe is standing trial alongside Cast Oil and Gas Limited, Seyi Sanni, Adekunle Adebayo, Access Bank Plc, Titi Oshontoki, Chinyere Bishop-Adigwe, Sunny Amos Affiong and Augusta Energy Nigeria Limited for allegedly defrauding former Petroleum Minister, Chief Don Etiebet through his company Top Oil and Gas Development Limited.
The charge reads in part : “That you Cast Oil & Gas Ltd, Seyi Sanni, Adekunle Adebayo, Access Bank “Plc, Herbert Wigwe, Titi Oshontoki, Chinyere BishopAdigwe, Sunny Amos Offiong, Augusta Energy Nig. Ltd.–ancl Tunji Amushan (-at large) between January and December, 2015, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, by deceit, conspired with one another and with Augusta Energy of Geneva, Switzerland, to defraud Top Oil & Gas Development Ltd., to the tune of over 6.3miilion United States of America Dollars.’
Counsel to the bank’s MD, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN) informed the court of a pending application dated April 30, 2019 filed on behalf of his client challenging the jurisdiction of the court to determine the matter. Responding, counsel to the Police, Emmanuel Jackson objected to the application. Jackson told the court that he had not been served the application. At this stage, the trial judge, Justice Oshodi instructed Usoro to serve him a copy in court.
Justice Oshodi however observed that the proceeding cannot go on since all the defendants were not in court. He subsequently adjourned the case till June 3, 2019 for hearing of the preliminary objection raised by the defence.