End Of A Road As Supreme Court Affirms Conviction Of Ex-Bank PHB MD Atuche 

The Supreme Court, on Friday upheld the conviction of the former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Mr Francis Atuche.

In the unanimous judgment read by Justice Moore Adumein, the apex Court held that the appellant, Francis Atuche, did not attempt to dislodge the finding of the trial court and the Court of Appeal on his credibility.

The court in relying on its previous decisions to the effect that where the decision of a trial court on the demeanor of a party or witness is supported by the documentary evidence tendered, an appellate court has no business in tampering with the decision of the court.

In conclusion, the court held that the appellant had not given it any reason to tamper with the concurrent finding of the two lower courts.

Mr. Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and one Mr. Ugo Anyanwu had been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2011 before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court in a prosecution that was handled by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Kemi Pinheiro on behalf of the EFCC.

The trio were arraigned on a 27 count amended information over a N25.7 billion fraud.

On June 16, 2021, Justice Okunnu in a judgment that lasted about 12 hours, convicted Atuche alongside a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu.

The court convicted the duo on 21 of the 27-count amended charge of conspiracy to commit felony and stealing brought against them by the EFCC.

The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court this morning brings to finality this criminal charge after over thirteen years

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Rita Elenwo

Rita Aletor- Elenwo, is a professional journalist with experience in broadcast, print and online reporting. A proud citizen of Edo state, Nigeria (Esan South East Local Government) Rita had her first degree in philosophy from Ebonyi State University (2008), PGD, in Communication from the University of Port Harcourt (2020), and currently in pursuit of an MSC degree in communication. Rita (nee Aletor-) is happily married with lovely children.

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