Court Sets Next Week For Further Hearing In N9.8 Bn ‘Wonder Bank’ Fraud

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed June 17 for continuation of trial of a “Wonder Bank” operator, Fortune Etaba, charged with N9.8 billion fraud.
Etaba is charged by the SFUon an amended 21-count charge bordering on the offence.
The suit had been fixed for continuation of trial but could not go on due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, who was said to away on official assignment.
Buba’s absence led to the case being fixed for the new date.
Etaba was rearraigned on Jan. 21 on the amended charge and had pleaded not guilty.
The judge granted him bail in the sum of N500 million, with two sureties in like sum.
Buba also ordered the accused to deposit his international passport with the court’s registrar, with an undertaking not to travel outside Lagos during the pendency of the case.
At the last adjourned date, the prosecutor, Mr Effiong Asuquo, had opened his case by calling his first witness, Mr Matthew Chukwu.
The witness recounted before the court, how the accused allegedly swindled him of millions of Naira.
The accused is said to have committed the offence between June 2009 and December 2009.
The prosecutor had told the court that the accused fraudulently obtained huge sums of money totaling N9.8 billion from several individuals, especially businessmen at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos.
He said that the accused had represented to the businessmen, that they would get back an addition of 50 per cent of their deposits after 21 days.
According to the prosecutor, the accused could neither repay the deposited sum nor the “multiplied sum” as represented.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 1 (1) (a), 8, and 2 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2004.
The accused is still remanded in prison custody, since he has yet to perfect his bail terms.