Authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command has dragged Four Staff of the United Bank For Africa before the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa over alleged illegal diversion of the sum of N33.7million being compensation ordered to be remitted by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) following the ruling on oil spillage damages at Azuzuama Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the State.
According to the Police, the order of the Court violated through the diversion of fund was a Garnishee Order Absolute which was made against the bank and Agip to pay the ordered N33.7 million to the Court and failure of which the judgment creditors levy execution.
The Four staff, identified as Mr. Ndubuisi Ogu,42 years, John Iyinbo,58 years, Mr. Iheaka Onuoha,43 years and Okwesili Ugochukwu, who is alleged to be at large and the Bank, the United Bank of Africa (UBA), were dragged before the Court on a Five count Charges of conspiracy, fraud, theft and unlawful diversion of fund.
According to the charge sheet with suit numbered FHC/YNG/46/2016 and prepared by the Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police, F.N Agwu, the four accused staff and the bank were alleged to have conspire among themselves to defeat the execution of an order of the Court and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 518 of the criminal code Act, Cap.C38,laws of the Federation of Nigeria,2004.
“That at about 6pm on same day, the accused did unlawfully by false pretences and with intent to defraud caused the reversal of N33, 699,450.00 already credited to the bank account of the registrar of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa domicile at Fidelity Account Number 60200007721 and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 419 of the Criminal Code. “
“ That on the same date and at about 5.46pm, the accused with intent to defraud sent electronic message to the Central Clearing Group stating that there is an existing order of interlocutory injunction from the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State restraining your bank(UBA) from paying the issued Manager’s cheques, an information which was false and caused unlawful reversal of the sum of N33.699 million credited to the account of the registrar, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14(2) of the Cyber crime(prohibition, prevention)Act,2015’.
Barr. Kelvin Ezinna Ejelonu, the Counsel to the Azuzuama Community, described the suit filed against the bankers as “justified” and that the case will liberate the benefitting community from the unbridled oppression, suppression and downright wickedness of an Oil company, Agip to the host community with the alleged aid of their bankers and Police officer attached to the Legal Department of the Force headquarters in Abuja.
Ejelonu, noted that though missing N33.7million compensation money was ordered to be paid to the affected indigenes of Azuzuama community due to the negative impact of the multiple oil spill between 2004 and 2006, “instead of Agip to pay compensation as ordered, they connive with some persons and took the money of which they said money did not reach any of those affected by the spill till date.”
Barr. Ejelonu also revealed that the affected community has petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Legal, Force Headquarter, Abuja, Umar Surajudeen to the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission over alleged culpability in the alleged case of cyber crime and fraud brought against the accused bankers.