Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja has disclosed that, financial institutions in the Nigeria are aiding fraud, and stated that culpable banks should be prosecuted.
He berated The United Bank for Africa, UBA, and Fidelity Bank Plc for aiding fraud, while handing down judgement in a case of N2billion fraud involving a former chairperson of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Abdulrasheed Maina noted that UBA and Fidelity Bank Plc which were used by Maina as “conduit” to defraud pensioners ought to have been charged alongside Maina.
He stated that, “UBA and Fidelity Bank provided the channels with which the convict Mr Maina used in defrauding the federal government.”
He charged regulatory bodies to withdraw the licences of the banks which benefitted from the proceeds of illegal transactions.
The Judge said the banks abdicated their responsibilities by failing to carry out due diligence to establish the true identities of persons in whose names Mr Maina opened and operated the fictitious bank accounts.
Justice Abang said, Nigeria is in urgent need of national rebirth to address the prevalence of monumental financial fraud in Nigeria’s public sector and while the convict lived in opulence at the expense of pensioners, his victims died in penury in Nigeria.
Justice Abang declared that the convict, through the assistance of UBA and Fidelity Bank Plc, deprived the pensioners that gave their all to this country in their youthful age, their legitimate earnings.
“Whereas the convict was feeding fat on their sweat faraway in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), buying choice properties, driving bulletproof cars, living in affluence beyond his legitimate earnings.
“An abnormal situation requires drastic actions to send a message to those that believe in dishonesty to have a rethink; turn a new leaf, he stated.