The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC today told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that Fidelis Ogbechie, defence witness in the on-going trial of former managing director of defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche was not a witness of truth as his claim that that his employers, ICON Stockbrokers Limited was lead Stockbroker to Bank PHB is false.
At the resumed hearing of the case Monday, April 14, prosecuting counsel Kemi Pinheiro SAN told the court that “the claim by the second defence witness that his employers, ICON Stockbrokers Limited, was the lead stockbroker or Joint-lead stockbroker was purely the imagination of the witness”.
During cross-examination, Pinheiro asked Ogbechie to go through Exhibit P2 to P38, and show the court where his employer was listed as a joint-lead stock broker to Bank PHB in the document. The witness told the court that it was not mentioned in the said document.
“Then it is right to say that the question of your employer being a lead or Joint-lead stockbroker is purely your imagination,” said Pinheiro.
The defence counsel N. K. Oragwu in re-examining the witness, asked him to explain what he meant by his employers being joint-lead stockbrokers, but Pinheiro objected to the line of questioning on the grounds that “the witness went through the document and could not give oral testimony to contradict what is written in the document which he read out to the court”.
“The document is not ambiguous and needs no further explanation,” declares Justice Lateefa Okunnu.
Pinheiro had earlier asked the witness if he was privy to the internal structure and activities of Bank PHB or any of the companies in the charge before the court. Ogbechie told the court that he was not privy to the activities of either Bank PHB or any of the companies mentioned in the charge.
The prosecuting counsel again examined the witness to establish the fact that he hails from the same geo-political area as Francis and Elizabeth Atuche who are presently standing trial along with Ugo Anyanwu, a former chief financial officer of the bank, for an alleged N25.7 billion theft.
Media & Publicity
14th April, 2014
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