As President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption and other related offences gathers momentum, the Federal Government has filed 24-count criminal charge against the former managing director of Consolidated Discounts Limited (CDL)
Stephen Olawanle Akinretoye and eight others are alleged to have defrauded the company of over N6 billion.
The accused persons will be arraigned in March before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
Other accused persons in the first criminal charge number FHC/L/22C/2016, filed before the court are, Mudashiru Adeleke Shittu, Larai Claude-Eninn, Hassan Jamiu Gbenga, Ajibola Jolaosho, Omisore Olawale, Omosope Johnson, Onimole Mobolaji Adebowale, and Emmanuel Akinola Odedina.
In the case summary accompanying the criminal charge filed before a Federal high court in Lagos by three SANs, Joseph Bodunrin.Daudu, Damian Dodo and Fabian Ajogwu, on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation, it was alleged that on 23 September, 2013, the then Legal Adviser/Director of Legal Services of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stating that based on investigations conducted by the CBN Examiners and other stakeholders of CDL, a high degree of corporate fraud and manipulation of record of the company had allegedly been perpetrated.
It was alleged that Stephen Olawanle Akinretoye between 1 January, 2004 and 31 December, 2013 as the Managing Director of the company, fraudulently diverted various funds belonging to CDL under different fraudulent guise and schemes
Also, based on credible evidence, it was revealed that all returns to the CBN by management of the company had been based on the understated risk assets of N22 billion at various times instead of N96 billion.
Reports of transactions and the account balances were suppressed and manipulated in a manner that the External Auditors and Central Bank of Nigeria were given reports that made the company appear as operating from profit position when the company was operating at a great loss.
Investigation also revealed that the accused persons at various times benefited from funds purportedly called corporate gifts which was to the tune of N87,350,366 as the money was transferred to them.
There were also payment to the tune of N1,655,092,92 made to some companies which CDL company called intermediate fees, i.e. the companies that helped CDL to source for funds when they can no longer access the lending window provided by the Central Bank. These funds transferred were done in opaque manner and the companies that benefited were traced to the accused persons.
Stephen Olawanle Akinretoye, between 1 Jaanuary, 2007 and 31 Decenber, 2009 were also alleged to have converted the sum of N4,537,500,000 belonging to CDL company while the credit facility granted to Goldbanc Management Associated Limited company was never brought to the attention of the board of CDL, that his wife was a Director of Glodbanc Management Association Limited, and the loans were not documented.
The 24-count criminal charge was filed against the nine accused persons who are all employees of CDL.
In a related development, another criminal charge number FHC/20/16 has been filed against Stephen Olawanle Akinretoye, Peter Ololo and a stockbroking firm Falcon Securities.
The accused persons and the stockbroking firm between 1 January, 2004 and 1 December, 2010 were alleged to have conspired together, with intent to defraud, and converted funds totaling N43,963,556,547 belonging to Consolidated Discounts Limited,
In the third charge filed before the court (FHC /L/21C/16) it was alleged that Stephen Olawanle Akinretoye, Mudashiru Adeleke Shittu, Olawale Omisore, Captain Eddy Ndoms, Aquatic Transport Limited of 7, Okoro Agbo Lane, Off IBB Way Calabar, Cross Oceans Limited, Echo Ventures Limited, between 2 January, 2009 and 31 December, 2010, converted funds totaling N1,006,000,000 belonging to Consolidated Discounts Limited under the guise of granting loan to Aquatic Transport and Echo Ventures Limited for the purpose of purchasing two vessels named MV Zakher Discovery and MV Zakher Princess.
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