Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja has expressed displeasure at financial institutions in the country and hinted that culpable banks aiding fraud should have been prosecuted.
The United Bank for Africa, UBA, and Fidelity Bank Plc for aiding fraud, according to the judge, 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 held, “UBA and Fidelity Bank provided the channels with which the convict (Mr Maina) used in defrauding the federal government.”
Adding that their licences ought to have been withdrawn as the banks benefitted from the proceeds of illegal transactions.
Abang said this on the premise that 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.
He is of the view that Nigeria is in urgent need of national rebirth to address the prevalence of monumental financial fraud in Nigeria’s public sector.
He said 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 advised.