In a twist of events that stinks of the Ibori case, former Managing Director of defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank Plc), Mr. Erastus Akingbola has been ordered by a High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, in London, to pay Access Bank Plc £654 million (about N164 billion) for some sharp and fraudulent practices committed when he was in charge of the bank.
The money, it was revealed, had been stolen directly from the bank during his tenure; and it had been used to buy property in the United Kingdom and pay debts owed by Akingbola’s companies, among other uses. However, of this amount, it was said that Akingbola had already refunded the sum of £9 million to Access Bank.
Akingbola and some of his trust companies had been dragged to court in December 2009 by the defunct Intercontinental Bank, and upon the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank, Intercontinental Bank was substituted with Access Bank as the plaintiff in the matter.
The judgment delivered Tuesday by Justice Michael Burton, ruling that Akingbola was liable to refund the money to Access Bank. Consequently, the judge ruled in Access Bank’s favour on all of its claims against Akingbola.
Back in Nigeria, cases against Akingbola by the EFCC had been thrown out of court in the past due to inappropriate filing.