Afribank Shareholders sue EFCC, INEC Over APC Senatorial Aspirant, Echocho | News Proof



Afribank Shareholders sue EFCC, INEC Over APC Senatorial Aspirant, Echocho

By Dansu Peter

A federal high court sitting in Abuja has been asked to order the arrest and prosecution of Jubril Isah Echocho, a former governorship candidate in
Kogi state.

Echocho is aspiring to contest for a seat in the Senate under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in kogi state.

In the suit file by Afribank Stakeholders, led by Ahmed AbdulRasaq, the plaintiff asked the court to order the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate arrest and prosecute Echocho over allegation of fraud.

In the suit,  he was said to have defrauded Afribank, now defunt.

The plaintiff also prayed the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission,  INEC, from accepting the nomination of Echocho as candidate of the party in the election.

The stakeholders, through their counsel,  Oghene Otemu, prayed the court for the following declaration:

* A DECLARATION that the 1 st Respondent has a statutory duty to investigate, identify and prosecute all persons suspected of being involved in the economic and financial crimes reported to the 1 st Respondent.

*AN ORDER mandating the 1 st Respondent to proseeute Jubrin Isah for his involvement in the embezzlement, financial malpractices, financial misappropriation and financial mismanagement of monies belonging to Afribank Nigeria Plc.

*AN ORDER restraining the 2nd Respondent from accepting Jubrin Isah as a candidate for any office for the 2019 general election and any other elections.
In the affidavit in support of the originating summons, deposed to by

Ahmed, the plaintiff said while

Echocho was a director of the bank, he was indicted by the EFCC of defrauding  the bank of billions o/ naira,

The plaintiff said in the affidavit:

*That despite the indictment, the 1st respondent,  EFCC, has rcfuscd to  prosecute Jubrin Isah,

*That the indicted Jubrin Isah has indicated his interest to contest [or the office of the Senate of the fcdcral Republic of Nigeria.

*That it will be very disastrous to allow indicted element like Jubril Isah to contest and win elections in Nigeria and hold an elective position.
*That allowing indicted elements like Jurin Lah to contezt and win in Nigena and hold any elective or appointive position will bring rnuch embarrassment to Nigeria as the internet is a wash with of fraudulent activities.

*That the said Jubrin Isah has been thoroughly investigated and indicted by the 1 st Respondent.
No date has been fixed for the heating of the matter.

A petition was also written against Echocho on the alleged fraud.

It reads in part

We write as Solicitors to Mr. Gbolahan Peters and Alhaji Ahmed O. Ibrahim of Forum for Zero Tolerance to Financial Crimes, Abuja (hereafter referred to as your Petitioners) and wish to draw your attention to the criminal indictment against Mr. Jubrin Isah the erstwhile Executive Director of Afribank Nigeria Plc and the seemingly conspiracy by your Commission under the leadership of your predecessor to bringing him to justice. Mr. Jubrin Isah, (herein after referred to as the Suspect) was the Executive Director of
Afribank Nigeria Plc, who was disengaged through the dissolution of Executive Management team of some Banks in August, 2009, over financial malpractices and mismanagement of the Afribank Nigeria Plc.

Sequel to the dissolution, the Suspect was arrested and severally investigated subsequently upon which he was indicted and first arraigned with Sebastian Adigwe' Osa Osunde, Isa Zailani, Chinedu Onyia, Henry Arogundade, Falcon Securities Ltd and Peter 01010 before the Federal High Court, Lagos with Charge No. FHC/L/294/09. Moreover, in the Amended Charges filed of 13th April, 2010, the 33 amended count charges against the Suspect and others revealed that the Suspect and others mismanaged and thereby committed a financial crimes to the total tune of over 60 Billion contrary the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act Cap. F2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and the Investments & Securities Act.

The SUspect and his co-accused were also arraigned before the High Court of Lagos
18 Lamorde in Afribank — The Eagle Online   state, Ikeja in May 201 1 with Charge No. 10/160C/201 1
However, to the consternation of your Petitioners and in what can only be depicted as   a scheme and official conspiracy, all the charges against the Suspect were dropped while the prosecution team turned him to prosecution witness without any justification.

  We wish to note that your Petitioners' apprehension is not unfounded as the followings justified their fear:

I . During the Suspect's initial criminal trial at Federal High Court, Lagos, in 2009, the Suspect, though was charged as co-accused was never brought before the court but was busy campaigning to become Peoples Democratic Party flag bearer in Kogi State, while your Commission under the leadership of your predecessor, Mrs. Farida Waziri maintained that the Suspect is nowhere to be found.
2. The Suspect by the summary of the charges, facts and circumstances of his indictment was not only the Executive Director of AfriBank Nigeria Plc, but by his admission in his statement made to your Commission, was in charge of Investment
Banking, covering Treasury, Financial Institution, Federal Public Sector, Private Banking, E-Solution and Corporate Support, thereby making him to played the leading role in the offences charged.
3. Instances abound in the trial where other accused have queried your Commission's decision to make the Suspect, your witness instead a co-accused considering the enormity of his indictments.
4. All the transactions of the Banking and Financial malpractices which formed the indictments of the Suspect and others were well documented of which his indicted as the principal accused person and thereby made him being turned to prosecution witness defective.
5. The absence of the principal accused person in the trial as co-accused would sp ell  doom for the prosecution of the charge.
Against this background, our extant brief is to ask you to use your good offices to review the decision of your predecessors, and ensure that the Suspect is brought to book for his liabilities in the financial malpractices and economic crimes.

You are no doubt aware that it is now an established fact within and outside the shore of Nigeria that the bane of Nigeria under-development is as a result of economic
crimes in public and private sectors.
to  This fact is very compelling that it lead to the establishment of your commission effectively tackle and curb the trend.

No doubt, you are also aware that your Commission's glooming public perception in

18 Lamordo in Afribank — The Eagle Online fighting the economic crimes is not unconnected with your Commission's wittingly and/or unwittingly insincerity and seemingly lack of will to prosecute those who have been apparently indicted like in the case of the suspect.
 Your Petitioners cannot therefore allow this obvious inequality without it been addressed and it is in the circumstance of the foregoing that your petitioners in   consideration of Section 24 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and other enabling laws in Nigeria request your quick review of the indictments and prosecution of Alhaji Jubrin Isah for the purpose of bringing him to book for financial malpractices and economic crimes perpetrated while serving as Executive Director of Afribank Nigeria Plc.
TAKE NOTICE that if by 7th June, 2012 no practical steps and demonstration of good faith to bring Alhaji Jubrin Isah to book is taken, we shall without further notice, set in motion, machinery of justice to compel you to do same.

It is our firm confidence that by your Commission's claims that no one is above the law,   you will not hesifate to investigate the above allegation and bring the culprit to book.

Thanks for your mutual belief in the supremacy of the rule of law.

Accept, please, the firm assurances of our highest regards.

Yours truly,
Pp: KAYODE AJULO & CO. CASTLE OF LAW.  Z. A. BABAH, ESQ. Ag. Head of Chambers Omolola AWOLOLA, ESQ. Counsel
1. President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abuja;
2. Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation, Abuja;
3. Secretary to the Government of Federation, Abuja.

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