Providus Bank On The Verge Of Bankruptcy Over N559 Million Fraud

Providus Bank On The Verge Of Bankruptcy Over N559 Million Fraud

The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered one of the new generation banks, Providus Bank Limited, to transfer back the remaining balance of N329,454,650.28 that was allegedly fraudulently transferred from the account of one of the bank’s customers, Aqua 10 Nigeria Limited. The court also awarded the plaintiff costs of N100,000 against the bank.

The court’s decision was the result of a lawsuit Barrister Kelechi Chukwu brought before it on behalf of Aqua 10 Nigeria Limited against Providus Bank Limited and seven other parties namely, Jethra Designs Investment Limited, Vacubeg Group of companies limited, Heroes Heights construction company Limited, Vacubeg Investment Limited, North Alta Trading Limited, Abiodun Shoyombo Trading under the name and style of Seatea Enterprises, Abiodun Afeez Adeyemi Trading under the name and style of Adeyemi Digital Enterprises.

In an affidavit signed under oath by the company’s managing director, Oladipo Okuntola, he claimed that between July 9 and July 12, 2021, a total of N558,569,000 was transferred in 8 tranches from his company’s account at Providus Bank Limited to Jethra Designs Investment Limited.

He added that the money was once more transferred from the account of Jethra Designs Investment Limited to Vacubeg Group of Companies Limited and that it was intended for the payment of items to be acquired from HG Honkong Company Limited and new silver industry company Limited in China.

After that, according to Okuntola, Vacubeg moved the money to Heroes Heights Construction Company Limited’s account, and then Heroes Heights Construction Company Limited sent the money back to Vacubeg Investment Limited.

He added that after receiving the cash, Vacubeg Investment Limited transferred them back to the Vacubeg Group of Companies Limited account, which subsequently transferred the funds to North Alta Trading Limited.

He claimed that the total sum of N329,454,650,296.28 had been transferred to the three accounts, which are housed in Providus bank: North Altappq Trading Limited -N93,361,828.97; Abiodun Shoyombo Trading under the name and style of Seatea Enterprises- N185,133,525,.08 and Abiodun Afeez Adeyemi Trading under the name and style of Adeyemi Digital Enterprises-N50,959,296.23.

“Subsequently, it was discovered that internet fraudster were behind the companies and business names sued as 2nd to 8th defendants in this suit, and that the persons behind the companies had fled from Nigeria.

“The matter was reported to the Interpol, and through Interpol, the movement of the plaintiff’s funds and the persons involved in the fraud were traced. The Plaintiff has requested that its funds traced to the 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants accounts in the Providus Bank who is also the Plaintiff’s bankers be returned, but the bank is insisting that without the court’s directive or order, the bank will not return the Plaintiff’s funds traced to the 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants’ accounts in the Providus bank.

“That unless the Court intervenes, the Providus bank will not return the Plaintiff’s money traced by Interpol into the accounts of the 6th, 7th and 8th Defendants domiciled in the bank. That it is in the interest of justice to grant this application.

“That the Defendants will not be prejudiced by the grant of this Originating Summons, more so, when the individuals behind the 2nd to 8th Defendants are on the run,” he said.

Ifeoluwa Badejo, the bank’s attorney, claimed that the bank reversed N50,700,000 from the 6th defendant’s account to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in accordance with the judge’s order and that this was not done with the intent of obstructing the course of justice in this case.

In his ruling, Justice Lifu made the following orders: that the first defendant, Providus Bank Limited “is hereby ordered or directed to move or transfer the plaintiff’s fund in the account of the 6th, 7th and 8th defendants to the plaintiff’s account kept with her.

“Since the sum of N50,700,000 has so far been reversed, the remaining balance in the total sum of N329,454,650.28 that is, less the N50,700,000 should be transferred to the plaintiff’s account forthwith.

“A cost of N100,000 is hereby awarded against Providus Bank Limited but in favour of Aqua 10 Nigeria Limited.”

 

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