The Federal Government has instituted a charge before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, against a new generation bank and two of its top staff for allegedly conspiring with some alleged drug barons to conceal large sums of money, allegedly realised from illicit dealing in hard drug.
The bank, its staff and others are being tried by the Federal Government through the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and are standing trial on a five-count charge. The matter is before Justice James Tsoho.
The accused are Diamond Bank, Lasisi Abayomi, Hillary Ojukwu, Oni Oil and Gas Limited, Onoche Ikenua and his wife, Lizzy Chinyere Ikenua.
In the first count, Diamond Bank staff were said to have failed to verify the true identity of Oni Oil and Gas Limited, Onoche Ikenua and Lizzy Chinyere Ikenua, before opening an account for their company, and also entered other fiduciary relationship with them, an offence contrary to Section 3 and punishable under Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2004.
In the second count, Mr and Mrs Ikenua were alleged to have falsely presented themselves as directors of Oni Oil and Gas Limited, just to open an account with the bank, while in the other counts, the bank and its staff were alleged to have conspired with other accused to convert various sums of money.
When the matter came up, yesterday, the prosecution told the court the matter was adjourned for trial, but that he was informed that Onoche Ikenua was seriously ill.
It added that at the last adjourned date as well, the second accused, Lasisi Abayomi, was equally absent which stalled the trial.
The prosecution asked for another date, when all the accused would be present in court, consequent upon which the court adjourned till June 18 for trial.