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NCS isolates Atuche, Anyanwu over COVID-19, convicts plan appeal


A former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, and the bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, have been put into isolation by the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command, pending the outcome of investigations into their COVID-19 status.

A credible source in the Lagos prisons service, who spoke to The PUNCH on Thursday, explained that if they had been vaccinated, a certificate would be needed to prove they did not have the infection.

“And if they don’t have the certificate, the government will bear the cost of conducting the test. But meanwhile, they will be in isolation until all the processes are completed and then they will be put inside the prison,” the source added.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on Wednesday sentenced Atuche to 12 years’ imprisonment for N25.7bn fraud.

Anyanwu was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for stealing and conspiracy to steal, while Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was discharged and acquitted.

The EFCC had in 2011 arraigned the defendants before Justice Okunnu over N25.7bn fraud.

A spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State, Mr Rotimi Oladokun, when contacted on Thursday on if the convicts had been received by the service, said he would call back. He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, one of Atuche’s counsel, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said his team would appeal the judgment.

Also, counsel for Anyanwu, Sylva Ogwemoh, said he would also appeal the judgement.

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He said, “Those who structured the court system made it possible for one to move from one judge to a panel of three judges. That is the way the court hierarchy works.”

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