…Include Properties in Lagos, Ghana, Dubai, London and Various Shares
After paying over £9.8million Pound Sterling to his English solicitors, the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Dr, Erastus Akingbola is in fresh financial dilemma as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, December 31, 2009 granted a Mareva injunction and attachment granted worldwide on his assets for total offences amounting to the tune of N346 billion and over 1 million GBP Sterling.
The Mareva Injunction is a worldwide court order to freeze all his assets and accounts, pending the arrest and trial of the suspect and restraining him, his wife, children solicitors, agents and relations from removing, alienating, disposing or diminishing the values of the assets, whether held in his name directly or indirectly.
The next stage, with the court injunction is the likelihood of confiscation of the assets going by the amendment to EFCC Act.
The court’s decision is a result of investigations carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria, new management of the Intercontinental Bank and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) when when Akingbola was the Managing Director of the bank.
The current management of Intercontinental Bank PLC had obtained a similar injunction from the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court, London dated December 24, 2009 freezing Akingbola’s assets up to the tune of GBP Sterling £10,500,00.00.
The EFCC had filed the application under sections 6 (D), 7(2), 24(11), 26(1), 28 and 34(1) of the EFCC Act 2004 seeking among others , the hearing of the Originating Motion within the shortest possible time to prevent Dr. Akingbola from dissipating the assets.
The genesis of court’s order against Dr. Erastus B.O Akingbola could be traced to his failure to honour an invitation by the EFCC to answer allegations of money laundering, theft, market manipulation, tax fraud, obtaining by false pretences, criminal granting of loans and facilities, insider abuse, insider trading and abuse of office while he was the Executive Vice Chairman and Group Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc.
Rather than honour the invitation he evaded arrest, absconded from the country, and has been a fugitive from justice since then which compelled EFCC to issue a warrant for his arrest.
The EFCC in a document obtained by the Economic Confidential magazine disclosed that Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola has used his wide knowledge of banking and finance to secure and collect the proceed of his crimes in various investment, instruments, assets and holdings in Nigeria, and various part of the world. Some of the assets have been traced to United Kingdom, United States, Middle East and some countries in Africa.
The Economic Confidential magazine further gathered that the cumulative total amount comprising the charges and allegations against him amount to the staggering sum of N346 billion and £10.9 million Pound Sterling, which is more than the annual budget of most states in Nigeria. He was also charged before the Federal High Court on a 28 court charge on Monday 21 December 2009, in FHC/L/CS/443C/09 for sum in the amount of N329 billion and £9.8 million Pound Sterling.
Earlier on 31 August 2009, in an 18 count charge before the Court in FHC/L/CS/295c/09, Akingbola is named as an accomplice in each of the charge in the said matter involving various economic and financial crimes.
In an internal inspection `report of 1st December, 2009, prepared by Intercontinental Bank Plc, Akingbola was indicted for money laundering that corroborates the investigative findings of the EFCC. The foreign exchange elements of the charge were transferred abroad by elaborate scheme, where Akingbola transferred huge amount of money belonging to Intercontinental Bank Plc to Fuglers Solicitors Client Account in London at various periods when the said Clients are not Solicitors to Intercontinental Bank Plc and have never been retained by the bank for the provision of any service, and had no direct bearing or connection with the bank. Some of the amounts transferred to Fuglers Solicitors Client include a sum of £8.5 million in March 2009 and £1.3 million in July 2009.
Given the level of loss suffered by Intercontinental Bank Plc and massive scale of economic crimes perpetrated there, a team of examiners from the CBN, joined the investigation into the affairs of the bank and by its report dates 15 September 2009 unearthed more of such suspicious transfers to Fuglers Solicitors in 2007. The transfer included the sum of £450,629.74 in July 2007, £534,885.26 in August 2007 and £100,000.00 in September 2007.
One of his local companies that also benefitted from such suspicious transfers is Summit Finance Company Limited, where he is a major shareholder. He was said to have transferred the sum of N5.5billion from the bank into the account of Summit Finance Company Limited, and subsequently paid the sum of N255 million out of it to himself in April 2008. In March 2008 he transferred the sum of N1.7billion to the company and subsequently paid the said money as bonus to the members of the Board of Director, executive management officers of Intercontinental Bank Plc and some companies belonging to him.
On 20th day of March 2008 he collaborated with other Directors of Intercontinental Bank Plc to illegally transfer the sum of N770 million to the said company and subsequently took direct benefit from the said fund in the sum of N50million and indirect benefit through his proxies/associated companies: namely, Tropic Holdings Limited, Tropic Security Limited, and
Tropic Properties Limited in the sum of N145 million
In May 2009, he withdrew the sum of N1.2billion from the bank for the account of Tropic Securities Limited, a company in which he is a major shareholder and Director, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the said money.
Further by an internal investigation of Intercontinental Bank Plc, just concluded on December21, 2009, 0ther suspicions economic crime being investigated by EFCC, were corroborated by the said internal investigation, showing that between 13 May 2009 and 30 June 2009, an aggregate amount of N8,6 billion was converted and stolen from the bank and its subsidiaries for the benefit of laundered through the account of Tropics Finance Limited, amongst others.
With more details of his assets and accounts being revealed, the investigators said “investigations are still on-going into the web of economic crimes committed by Dr. Erastus Akingbola, and at the conclusion of investigation, further charges of theft, criminal breach of trust, obtaining by false, pretence, and money laundering against him would be brought against him.”
Please see details of the assets of Dr. Erasmus Akingbola below:
Erasmus Akingbola’s World Wide Assets
Akingbola’s Assets on which the order was granted include but not limited to the following:-
Schedule I: Known Assets List
- Property at Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
- Amazing Grace Plaza, Plot 2e – 4e, Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
- No 2 Bedwell Road, Ikoyi (suspected to be owned directly or indirectly by Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola)
- No. 12 Ruxton Road, Ikoyi (suspected to be directly or indirectly owned Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola)
- No. 12 Chester Terrace, London, England, NW1 4ND (suspected to be the residence of Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola)
- No. 65 Gove-End Road, London NW8 9NH (suspected to be owned by Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbloa
- No. 8 Connaught Street, London W2 9NH, England (suspected to be owned by Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola)
- Properties in Dubai including units in Regal Towers, Dubai (owned directly or indirectly by Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola)
- Properties in Accra, Ghana (owned directly or indirectly by Dr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola)
- Cars and personal assets at Milverton Road, Ikoyi Lagos
- Shares held in listed companies in Nigeria including, but not limited to :
- Intercontinental Bank Plc
- Access Bank Plc
- Shares held in other companies in Nigeria including, but not limited:
- Tropics Securities Limited
- Tropics Property Limited
- Tropics Holdings Limited
- Summit Finance Company Limited
- Tropics Finance & Investments Company Limited
- Yankuri Nigeria Limited
- Regal Investment Nigeria Limited
- Bankinson Nigeria Limited
- Associated Discount House Limited
That prohibition included the following assets in particular:
- the GBP sterling 8,540,134.58 and GBP sterling 1,300,000.00 which were transferred to Fuglers Solicitors
- any money held in an account of Fuglers Solicitors
- the property on 26 Chester Terrace, London, NW1 4NB
- the property on 65 Grove End Road, London, NW8 9NH
- the property on 8Connaught Street, London, W2 2AH
Schedule II: Mareva Sum
- The amount of N346,185,841,243.75 (Three Hundred and Forty Six Billion, One Hundred and Eighty Five Million, Eight Hundred and Forty One Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Three Naira, Seventy Kobo), being the (a) total amount comprising the 28 count charge against the said Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola in FHC/L/CS/443c/09, less the sums in counts four and five thereof being the subject of a civil recovery action in England against the said Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola by Intercontinental Bank Plc, and (b) other sums in Naira being proceeds of economic crimes for which the said Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola is to be charge.
- The amount of £1,085,515.00 (One Million, and Eighty Five Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifteen Pounds), being the total amount which prima facie investigation evidence shows were proceeds of economic and financial crimes by the said Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola.
Suspected Bank Accounts Held Personally or through Others
· Special, current, saving, deposit or domiciliary accounts in the name of Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola, and parties bound by the order, in:
· Intercontinental Bank (including accounts with numbers 0001200000029420, 0001210000005334, 0111-001-000352735 and 0111-001000352745)
· Access Bank Plc (including in the name of Bankinson Nigeria Limited, Tropics Properties Limited and Tropics Finance and Investment Company Limited)
· Zenith Bank Plc
· Skye Bank Plc
· First Bank of Nigeria Plc (including in the name of Bankinson Nigeria Limited).
· Fidelity Bank Plc (including account with number 027-4020-1003714)
· Associated Discount House Limited
· Intercontinental Bank (UK) Limited
Schedule IV: Names Of Brokers & Registrars
Any form of account in the name of Dr. Erastus B.O. Akingbola, and parties bound by the order, in:
- Intercontinental Capital Market Limited
- Tropics Securities Limited
- Summit Finance Company Limited
- Tropics Finance and Investments Company Limited
- Octopus Securities Limited
- Regal Investments Nigeria Limited
- Chartwell Securities Limited
- Intercontinental Registrars Limited
- Intercontinental Securities Limited
- Associated Discount House Limited
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