Alleged N50m Fraud: Court Revokes Ex-Access Bank Manager’s Bail in Lagos

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Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, revoked the bail earlier granted to one Sydney Mmeka, a former Regional Manager, Access Bank Plc, who is being prosecuted by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an alleged N50 million fraud.

Mmeka is standing trial on five counts bordering on conspiracy, forgery, stealing, using false documents and fraudulent false accounting, to which he pleaded “not guilty”.

He is accused of defrauding a hotelier, Babatunde Emmanuel, by fraudulently diverting the money in his account with the bank to these companies: Saviour Fair Montessori School, Dan Logistics Nigeria Limited, J.O. Universal Nigeria Concept Limited, Helem Global Logistics Limited, Sizu International Limited and Sydgold Investment Limited.

In his earlier testimony, the victim had stated that he had no business whatsoever with the companies.

He said: “I do not know these companies, neither have I ever dealt with them personally or otherwise.”

He added that “Further inquiry into the companies used to criminally steal the funds were found not to be registered in CAC, but they maintained accounts with Access Bank.”

At today’s proceedings, the prosecuting counsel, Ayanfe Ogunsina, informed the court that one of the sureties of the defendant had informed the EFCC that he wanted to withdraw.

Ayanfe also told the court that the surety further alerted the EFCC that the defendant had sold his assets as part of plans to flee the country.

“The defendant had initially denied the claim by the surety that he had at no time made an attempt to escape jurisdiction, and that it was only his wife that was traveling.

“But we later found out that he had been issued a visa to the United Kingdom, which confirms the deposition of the surety,”Ayanfe said.

Consequently, Justice Dada discharged the surety, who was in court, and also revoked the bail earlier granted to the defendant.

The case has been adjourned till March 13, 2023 for continuation of trial.

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