Bishop Jonas Katung and a banker have been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding people of N11.5 billion, using a “Wonder Bank”.
The duo allegedly duped 64,000 people who invested their “hard-earned” cash in Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society, with a promise to get high returns on their investments.
Bishop Jonas Katung of the Jos-based Marathana Bible Church and Mr. Irimia Maman, the Managing Director of Dadin Kowa Micro-Finance Bank Ltd., were yesterday arraigned before a high court in Jos on a 24-count charge of corruption and money laundering.
The “wonder bank” was allegedly created by Bishop Katung.
Okewole Dayo and Dadin Kowa Micro-Finance Bank Limited were charged along with the duo.
Some of the 24-count charge preferred against the accused by the EFCC, which were read before them in court yesterday, are:
“.That you Okewole Dayo, Bishop Jonas Katung, Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank Ltd and Maman Irmiya Jatau sometime in 2012 under the jurisdiction of this court did conspire with yourselves to commit money laundering, contrary to Section 18 of the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15, sub section 3 of the same Act.
“.That you Okewole Dayo and Bishop Jonas Katung, being secretary and chairman of Fadama Covenant, Fadama Cooperative Society, sometime in 2012 within the jurisdiction of this court did transfer the sum of N50 million from Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society account to First Bank account number 2003050001625 into the Dadin Kowa Micro Finance, First Bank account number-2016452671, which sum represents proceeds of unlawful acts and, therefore committed offence contrary to Section 15,sub section 25 of the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act 2011 as amended by money laundering amendment, Prohibition Act 2012 and punishable under section 54 of the same act”
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The prosecution, led by L. P. Assor, said the bail application earlier granted to the accused persons did not include the Managing Director of Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank since no charge was preferred against him as at the time it was granted to the Bishop, who is the first accused person.
According to the EFCC, the charges against the bank MD were only filed two days ago.
Opposing the bail application, counsel to the bank’s MD, Mr G G Achi, argued that the bail granted to the first accused person should also apply to the bank MD since he is one of the accused persons.
After hearing the argument from both the defence counsel and prosecution counsel, Justice M. A. Kurya ordered that the bank MD be remanded in prison, pending when his bail application is filed and considered by the court. The bail earlier granted the Bishop was allowed to subsist.
The court then adjourned the case till March7 for further hearing.
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