. Police file a 6-count charge against firm, CEO, others
The Nigeria Police have pressed a six-count charge bordering on N200 million fraud against Staco Insurance Plc alongside its former and current Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Sakiru Oyefeso, Bayo Fakorede before the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Also charged before the court is the company’s Executive Director in-charge of Management Services, Tayo Ajibulu. Staco Insurance Plc and other defendants were charged on a six-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretense and issuance of dud cheques. In the charge, the police alleged that the insurance company and its officials committed the offences between July and August 2017.
The charge stated that in perpetuating the fraud, it was alleged that all the defendants conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtained N200 million from a company, Growth and Development Asset Management Limited (GDAML) on the pretense that the money would be used for investment purposes. It was also alleged that when the defendants failed to utilize the N200 million for its intended purposes, they equally failed to refund the money to the complainant.
The defendants were alleged to have on March 12, 2018, issued cheques from United Bank for Africa (UBA), the defunct Diamond Bank and First Bank Plc, to the alleged fraud victim, but were dishonored for lack of insufficient funds Count one and six of the charge read:
“That you Sakiru Oyefeso, Bayo Fakorede, Tayo Ajibulu and Staco Insurance Plc, sometimes between the month of July 2017 and August 2017 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did conspire to commit a felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
“That you Staco Insurance Plc, Bayo Fakorede and Tayo Ajibulu between August 2017 to March 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, obtained the credit and induced the delivery of N200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) from Growth and Development Asset Management Limited in favour of Staco Insurance PLC by means of United Bank of Africa UBA cheques which were dishonored due to insufficient funds and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a)(b) of the Dishonored Cheques (Offences) Act i 2004 and punishable under Section 1 (1) (b) of the same Act”.
At the scheduled arraignment of the defendants, all the defendants were in court except the current CEO, Mr. Fakorede, who was said to be sick. Fakorede’s counsel, Olushina Sofola (SAN), told the court that his client took ill and was hospitalised for treatment. The prosecutor, Mrs. Ibijoke Akinpelu, while objecting to the adjournment requested by Fakorede’s counsel, told the court that the matter was adjourned for the arraignment of all defendants, having been duly served with the charge and that the second defendant (Fakorede) was fully aware that the matter was fixed for arraignment.
Akinpelu also told the court that the second defendant (Fakorede) has not been in court since that charge was filed before the court about six months ago, adding that all adjournment has been at the instance of the second defendant. The prosecutor, therefore, asked the court for a short date if the court was mindful of conceding to the defendant’s request for adjournment. Following the submissions of the party, the court adjourned the matter till November 7, for the arraignment of the defendants.
The Board of Directors of Staco Insurance Plc, at its meeting held in Lagos on July 30, 2018, passed a resolution, dismissing Oyefeso as the CEO of the company on the grounds of financial misappropriation, abuse of office and breach of corporate governance best practices. While Mr. Fakorede was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Company.