Friday, 5 February 2016

Court Grants Bishop Bail Over N11.5bn Fraud

A Federal High Court in Jos has extended the bail granted the Bishop of the Maranatha Church, Jonas Katung.
He was first granted bail on December 9, 2015 over allegations that he defrauded customers of the defunct Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society.
Katung and the Managing Director of Dadin Kowa Micro Finance Bank Ltd. in Jos, Mr. Irmiya Jatau, were arraigned before Justice M. H. Kurya by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for defrauding hundreds of customers of the institution to the tune of N11.5bn.
The EFCC also filed 24 counts of corruption against the duo in the court, which was presided over by Justice M. H. Kurya.
Both the bank’s MD and the cleric, one Okewole Dayo as well as the micro-finance bank were the four accused persons standing trial for their alleged roles in defrauding over 64,000 customers of the defunct Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society of the said amount.
At that resumed hearing of the case, the accused persons asked the court to grant them bail, premising their argument on the fact that Katung had earlier been granted bail on the same charges
The prosecution team, led by L. P. Asor, said the bail application, earlier granted Katung, did not include Jatau since no charge was preferred against him as of the time the Bishop’s bail application succeeded.
According to the EFCC, the charges against the bank’s chief were filed two days ago.
Counsel for Jatau, G. G. Achi, argued that the bail granted to the first accused person should also apply to the banker since he was one of the co-accused persons in the entire case.
The presiding judge ruled that the bank MD be remanded in prison pending when his bail application was filed and heard by the court and extended the bail earlier granted the cleric.
He adjourned the case to March 7 for further hearing.

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