Asaba — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday arraigned a 39-year-old branch manager of United Bank of Africa, Victor Onodavwerho, on a four count charge before a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, for offences bordering on stealing and illegal conversion of depositors fund for personal use.
Onodavweho, a father of seven children was alleged to have as branch manager/relationship manager of UBA, Asaba branch, illegally withdrawn the sum of N32 million from depositors accounts which he paid into his personal account with Fidelity Bank Plc.
When the charges were read to him in court, he pleaded not guilty to the four count charge. Consequently, counsel to EFCC,Kayode Oni, asked the court to fix a date for trial. He also asked the court to remand the accused person in prison pending the determination of the case.
However, counsel to the accused person, K. O. Ijatui, asked the court to grant his client bail because the alleged offences were bailable. He also stated that the accused person has been on EFCC administrative bail since 2008. He told the court that since the accused person has not jumped bail since 2008, he would still not jump bail even if he is allowed to go home. He said the accused person voluntarily turned up in court yesterday at the invitation of EFCC and that he would continue to do so whenever he is called upon. Counsel to EFCC vehemently opposed the application for bail. He told the court that though the commission granted the suspect administrative bail, the circumstances of the case has changed.
Justice Ibrahim Buba however granted the accused person bail. He stated that if the accused person has been enjoying administrative bail, he has no difficulty granting him judicial bail pending the determination of the case.
He thereafter granted the accused bail in the sum of N50 million and a surety in like sum.
The surety should have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and that the Certificate of Occupancy of the property be deposited with the court registrar.
The judge also ordered that the passport photographs of the accused and the surety be deposited in court.
The accused person is also to write an undertaking that he would not delay the trial of the case.
The judge ordered that until the bail conditions were meant, the accused person should be remanded in prison custody.
Justice Ibrahim Buba then adjourned the case to November 10 for trial.