Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to decide which of them will prosecute 16 suspects accused of multi-billion fraud at the Consolidated Discount House Limited.
The suspects’ arraignment was stalled due to a disagreement between two lawyers representing the AGF and EFCC on who should prosecute the case.
Three separates charges were filed against the suspects. Defendants in the first charge are Stephen Akinretoye, Peter Ololo and Falcon Securities Limited.
The second charge has Akinretoye, Mudashiru Shittu, Olawale Omisore, Capt. Eddy Ndoms, Aquatic Transport Limited, Cross Oceans Limited and Ehco Ventures Limited as defendants.
In the third charge, Akinretoye, Shittu, Larai Claude-Eninn, Hassan Gbenga, Ajibola Jolaosho, Omisore Olawale, Omisope Johnson, Onimole Adebawale and Emmanuel Odedina are the accused.
In the first charge, the complainant, Federal Republic of Nigeria, alleged that between January 1 and December 31, 2007, the accused persons agreed among themselves to defraud Consolidated Discounts Limited by granting loans to Falcon Securities Limited, a company owned by Ololo, without proper documentation.
The prosecution said they allegedly converted N43.9billion being funds belonging to Consolidated Discount in contravention of Section 15 (2) and 15 (3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2012.
In the second charge, Akinterotoye and others allegedly defrauded the company in the guise of granting loans to the fourth to seventh defendants and converted various sums, such as N520milion, N303million and N600million.
The prosecution said investigations revealed that Consolidated Discount had already paid for vessels before the dates of the various applications for loan made by the fourth to seventh accused persons.
In the third charge, the prosecution said the defendants, as employees of Consolidated Discount, committed an act of fraud by converting its N915.7million.