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Court remands ex-hospital staff over N13.3m ‘embezzlement’

A former staff of Federal Nuero-Psychiatric Hospital, Edo has been remanded in prison custody till Tuesday for allegedly defrauding the hospital’s staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society of N13.3 million.

Presiding judge of the Federal High Court, Benin, Justice Ajuku P. I., who gave the ruling, fixed Tuesday, October 31 for hearing on the accused bail application.

Counsel to the defendant, Barr O. A. Otamere, had urged the court to remand the accused in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody but Ajuku rejected the appeal saying the matter was not of special security concern.

The court ruling was sequel to a five-count charge of money laundering preferred against the accused, Kennedy Osamwonyi Oriakhi, by the EFCC.

According to the charge sheet No: FHC/B/79c/2017, the prosecuting counsel, C. A. Okoli Esq. told the court that the defendant had in his capacity as the former President of Psychiatric Hospital Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited, committed the offence on February 20, 2015.

Okoli said the accused first transferred the money to non-members of the cooperative and later appropriated same to his FCMB personal account.

The prosecuting counsel pointed out that the defendant committed an offence contrary to section 15 (2) (b) and punishable under section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition Act 2011) as amended.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

About Patrick Ahanor, Benin City

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