These are not the best of times for Keystone Bank as Lagos State High Court Ikeja has convicted the bank’s top officials and has slammed a fine of N60 million against the Bank over a case of financial impropriety bothering on fraud, false misrepresentation and stealing of a multimillion Naira sum.
In her judgement on 9th December 2019, Hon. Justice K.A Jose (Mrs) said the matter is serious because it involved a bank and “there is a need to send a message that this kind of behaviour is not right”.
The Court held that Bank PHB used two of its top officials, Anayo Nwosu and Olajide Oshodi as its hand to perpetuate fraud alongside an Indian, Ashok Israni in which case, the sum of N285M belonging to both Dozzy Oil gas Ltd and Treasure Much Ltd was used to defray the indebtedness of Nuclec Industries Ltd to Bank PHB.
The Court held that Anayo Nwosu and Olajide Oshodi personally stole the sum of N110M from Dozzy Oil gas Ltd and Treasure Much Ltd through a company called Drillcom Investment Ltd.
The Court further held that Nulec Industries Ltd in page 8 of its Private Placement Memorandum (which was tendered before the Court as Exhibit P9) made a false statement which offended Section 436 (B) of the Criminal Code, when the company represented that it would list its stock on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange after a completion of the private placement exercise.
In addition, the Court found Ashok Israni and Nulec Industries Ltd guilty of intentionally omitting to disclose how it would spend the monies received from Dozzy Oil gas Ltd and Treasure Much Ltd which was meant for shares purchases.
In handing out penalties, the Court sentenced Anayo Nwosu, Olajide Oshodi and Ashok Israni to 5 years imprisonment each. Bank PHB and Nuclec Industries Ltd were ordered to return the sum of N285M to Treasure Much Ltd. In addition, Nuclec Industries Ltd is to pay a fine of N20M while Keystone Bank was ordered to pay additional fine of N60M.