Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Access Bank Wins £653 Million Suit Against Erastus Aknigbola

Access bank PLC has won a £653 million fraud lawsuit in Britain against the former Chief Executive Officer of bailed-out Intercontinental Bank, Dr Erastus Akingbola.

Delivering the judgement in a London High Court on Tuesday, presiding judge, Justice Michael Burton, ruled comprehensively in the bank’s favour in respect of all aspects of its claims against Dr Akingbola.

In his ruling, Justice Burton said Dr Akingbola is responsible for directing the bank to buy its own shares at a loss of about N145 billion, siphoning money to companies controlled by him or his family and using Intercontinental funds to buy real estate in the UK.

According to the judgment, Dr Akingbola wrongfully caused the bank to acquire 3.7 billion of its own shares between 2007 and 2009, and that he directed about £68 million to a group of companies in which he had an interest in order to help them pay off “substantial debts.

Intercontinental was among eight lenders bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2009 after a debt crisis caused in part by loans to speculators in equities.

The CBN had asked the UK to extradite Akingbola after the bailout, though he later returned voluntarily to Nigeria in July 2010 to face the criminal case.

A trial in that matter is still on-going.

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