A Branch Manager with First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Ikeja Branch, Mr. Tope Munis was docked at a Lagos State High Court for allegedly aiding N1.2billion fraud, property of Star Orient Nigeria Limited.
The defendant was arraigned on 15 count amended charge alongside Dare Osamo and Ayoola Oloore Bisola who had earlier been arraigned over the alleged fraud before Justice Oyindamola Ogala.
During their arraignment on Wednesday, the Director, Lagos State Department of Public Prosecution, Dr. Jide Martins, informed the court that the state have an amended charge to include the branch manager who allegedly connived with Dare Osamo to swindle Star Orient owned by a businessman, Otunba Babatunde Akanbi Babalola.
According to the amended charge, Tope Munis on the 15th day of February, 2016, while acting as Branch Manager, FCMB PLC. situated at No 48, Isaac John Street, Government Residential Area, GRA Branch allegedly committed the offence.
Munis and Osamo, allegedly demonstrates intention to defrauding and without lawful authority or excuses approved the opening of a new account for Star Orient Nigeria Limited when there were no SCUML (i.e Special Control Unit against Money Laundering) certificate number on the account opening form.
This online news medium learnt that the charge also added that the duo of Munis and Osamo, allegedly runs foul of banking rules when they opened the account without full details of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited, no means of identification nor BVN (Bank Verification Numbers) of the directors of Star Orient Nigeria Limited and upon a forged resolution purportedly signed by Dare Osamo as sole signatory when there are two directors who are signatories to Star Orient Nigeria Limited’s account.
The state prosecutor, upon announcing to the court of the existence of the amended charge urged the court to take his plea over the allegations leveled against him.
Consequently, Tope Munis pleaded not guilty to four-count charges relating to him out of the 15 amended count charges.
Dr. Martins thereafter, asked the court for a trial date and a remand order pending the determination of his bail application.
In a counter reaction, J.O. Olushade who represents Dr. Wale Olawoyin, SAN as a counsel to the branch manager, informed the court of his bail application while praying for liberal terms.
The defence counsel moved the bail application by adopting it as he prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail because the offence allegedly commented by the defendants are bailable.
Opposing the bail, the state prosecutor, said the court must consider the severity of the offence, as he prayed the court to turn down the bail application of the defendant.
Mr. Tope Munis was granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
Justice Ogala pronounced that the third defendant is granted bail during a ruling on his bail application following his arraignment alongside two others, Dare Osama and Ayoola Olore Bisola who are first and second defendants.
National wire gathered that the third defendant was granted bail in the sum of N20million, with two sureties in like sum, each of the sureties must own property valued at N10million in like sum, must be resident of the state.
One of the sureties must have title to landed property, produce evidence of financial status, and the residential addresses of the sureties must be provided while international submitted to the court.
Further hearing of the matter was adjourned till May 26 and June 8, 2022