The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, September 20, 2013, told Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that Prof. Pat Utomi, the first defence witness in the trial of a former Managing Director of BankPHB, now Keystone Bank, Francis Atuche and two others, took loan facilities to the tune of N59million at different times from the bank during his tenure as the vice chairman of the bank. This revelation came while Utomi was being cross-examined by the EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN.
Pinheiro, while presenting documents before the court said Utomi took facilities worth Fifty -Nine Million Naira from the bank during the tenure of Atuche. He said a forty million naira facility was granted to the witness on July 3, 2008, and another draft of ten million naira was also raised on September 23, 2008 in favour of the witness.
He said the witness, through a company, U R Maintenance Limited, took another facility of five million naira. Pinheiro also said one Emmanuel Utomi; a relative of the witness received a cheque of four million naira allegedly on behalf of the witness from Clairemount Management Services, a company in which Atuche is alleged to be the sole signatory.
Pinheiro said that at the time the Board of Directors of the bank were ratifying facilities granted by the bank, the facilities granted to the Utomi and many others were not disclosed.
Apart from Utomi, other board members also took various loan facilities from the bank. Mike Ajoku, a kinsman of Utomi from Ibusa in Delta state was granted a N428million (Four hundred and twenty eight million naira) loan facility. Fidelis Idita, also a kinsman of Utomi from the same community, took a loan facility from the bank. It was also alleged by the prosecution that one Consolidated Business Support Services got a facility of N1 Billion. The company is allegedly linked to one Ifeyinwa Osime, also a member of the bank's board.
The matter was adjourned to October 3, 4, 23, 24, 25; November 18 and December 3 and 4, 2013 for continuation of trial.