N1.2bn Fraud: Ex-Banker admits Dariye operated account illegally

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Joshua Dariye, former Plateau State governor.

Joshua Dariye, former Plateau State governor.

A former staff of the defunct All States Trust Bank, Adonye Roberts, on June 17, 2016 told a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, Abuja, that a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, illegally operated an account with the bank in the name of Ebenezer Retnan Ventures, ERV, with the aim of concealing his identity as the owner of the account.

Dariye is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Adebukola Banjoko, on a 23-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds. He is alleged to have siphoned the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion, diverting part of it to ERV – an unregistered company run by him and in whose name he maintained a “private banking” account with ASTB.

Roberts who told the court that he is a 1989 graduate of Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA, admitted that Dariye did not fulfil all the requirements needed for the operation of a “private banking” account.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel, G. S. Pwul, SAN, Roberts, the first witness called by the defence, explained that “private banking” was a special product for businessmen who do not have the time to go to the banking hall to transact their business.

“It’s a banking product mainly for high-networth customers, persons like captains of industry, governors,” he said.

The witness, who was literally put on the hot seat, by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, however, admitted that though it was legitimate to run a private bank account, Dariye did not comply with the bank’s rules as regards opening and running such an account.

Identifying the various account opening documents, which had been admitted by the court as exhibits, Roberts told the court that though the account was opened in the …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper